What is Ego Psychology?

Introduction

Ego psychology is a school of psychoanalysis rooted in Sigmund Freud’s structural id-ego-superego model of the mind.

An individual interacts with the external world as well as responds to internal forces. Many psychoanalysts use a theoretical construct called the ego to explain how that is done through various ego functions. Adherents of ego psychology focus on the ego’s normal and pathological development, its management of libidinal and aggressive impulses, and its adaptation to reality.

Brief History

Early Conceptions of the Ego

Sigmund Freud initially considered the ego to be a sense organ for perception of both external and internal stimuli. He thought of the ego as synonymous with consciousness and contrasted it with the repressed unconscious. In 1910, Freud emphasized the attention to detail when referencing psychoanalytical matters, while predicting his theory to become essential in regards to everyday tasks with the Swiss psychoanalyst, Oscar Pfister. By 1911, he referenced ego instincts for the first time in Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning and contrasted them with sexual instincts: ego instincts responded to the reality principle while sexual instincts obeyed the pleasure principle. He also introduced attention and memory as ego functions.

Freud’s Ego Psychology

Freud later argued that not all unconscious phenomena can be attributed to the id, and that the ego has unconscious aspects as well. This posed a significant problem for his topographic theory, which he resolved in The Ego and the Id (1923).

In what came to be called the structural theory, the ego was now a formal component of a three-way system that also included the id and superego. The ego was still organised around conscious perceptual capacities, yet it now had unconscious features responsible for repression and other defensive operations. Freud’s ego at this stage was relatively passive and weak; he described it as the helpless rider on the id’s horse, more or less obliged to go where the id wished to go.

In Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety (1926), Freud revised his theory of anxiety as well as delineated a more robust ego. Freud argued that instinctual drives (id), moral and value judgments (superego), and requirements of external reality all make demands upon an individual. The ego mediates among conflicting pressures and creates the best compromise. Instead of being passive and reactive to the id, the ego was now a formidable counterweight to it, responsible for regulating id impulses, as well as integrating an individual’s functioning into a coherent whole. The modifications made by Freud in Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety formed the basis of a psychoanalytic psychology interested in the nature and functions of the ego. This marked the transition of psychoanalysis from being primarily an id psychology, focused on the vicissitudes of the libidinal and aggressive drives as the determinants of both normal and psychopathological functioning, to a period in which the ego was accorded equal importance and was regarded as the prime shaper and modulator of behaviour.

Systematisation

Following Sigmund Freud, the psychoanalysts most responsible for the development of ego psychology, and its systematization as a formal school of psychoanalytic thought, were Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann, and David Rapaport. Other important contributors included Ernst Kris, Rudolph Loewenstein, René Spitz, Margaret Mahler, Edith Jacobson, Paul Federn, and Erik Erikson.

Anna Freud

Anna Freud focused her attention on the ego’s unconscious, defensive operations and introduced many important theoretical and clinical considerations. In The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936), Anna Freud argued the ego was predisposed to supervise, regulate, and oppose the id through a variety of defences. She described the defences available to the ego, linked them to the stages of psychosexual development during which they originated, and identified various psychopathological compromise formations in which they were prominent. Clinically, Anna Freud emphasized that the psychoanalyst’s attention should always be on the defensive functions of the ego, which could be observed in the manifest presentation of the patient’s associations. The analyst needed to be attuned to the moment-by-moment process of what the patient talked about in order to identify, label, and explore defences as they appeared. For Anna Freud, direct interpretation of repressed content was less important than understanding the ego’s methods by which it kept things out of consciousness. Her work provided a bridge between Freud’s structural theory and ego psychology.

Heinz Hartmann

Heinz Hartmann (1939/1958) believed the ego included innate capacities that facilitated an individual’s ability to adapt to his or her environment. These included perception, attention, memory, concentration, motor coordination, and language. Under normal conditions, which Hartmann called “an average expectable environment,” these capacities developed into ego functions with autonomy from the libidinal and aggressive drives; that is, they were not products of frustration and conflict as Freud (1911) believed. Hartmann recognised, however, that conflicts were part of the human condition and that certain ego functions may become conflicted by aggressive and libidinal impulses, as witnessed by conversion disorders (e.g., glove paralysis), speech impediments, eating disorders, and attention-deficit disorder.

A focus on ego functions and how an individual adapts to his or her environment led Hartmann to create both a general psychology and a clinical instrument with which an analyst could evaluate an individual’s functioning and formulate appropriate therapeutic interventions. Hartmann’s propositions imply that the task of the ego psychologist was to neutralize conflicted impulses and expand the conflict-free spheres of ego functions. Through such effects, Hartmann believed, psychoanalysis facilitated an individual’s adaptation to his or her environment. He claimed, however, that his aim was to understand the mutual regulation of the ego and environment rather than to promote adjustment of the ego to the environment; additionally, he proposed that diminishing conflict in an individual’s ego would help him or her to respond actively to, and shape rather than passively react to, the environment. Mitchell and Black (p.35) stated:

“Hartmann powerfully affected the course of psychoanalysis, opening up a crucial investigation of the key processes and vicissitudes of normal development. Hartmann’s contributions broadened the scope of psychoanalytic concerns, from psychopathology to general human development, and from an isolated, self-contained treatment method to a sweeping intellectual discipline among other disciplines”

David Rapaport

David Rapaport played a prominent role in the development of ego psychology, and his work likely represented its apex. In the influential monograph The Structure of Psychoanalytic Theory (1960), Rappaport organized ego psychology into an integrated, systematic, and hierarchical theory capable of generating empirically testable hypotheses. He proposed that psychoanalytic theory – as expressed through the principles of ego psychology – was a biologically based general psychology that could explain the entire range of human behaviour. For Rapaport, this endeavour was fully consistent with Freud’s attempts to do the same (e.g. Freud’s studies of dreams, jokes, and the “psychopathology of everyday life”).

Other Contributors

While Hartmann was the principal architect of ego psychology, he collaborated closely with Ernst Kris and Rudolph Loewenstein.

Subsequent psychoanalysts interested in ego psychology emphasized the importance of early-childhood experiences and socio-cultural influences on ego development. René Spitz (1965), Margaret Mahler (1968), Edith Jacobson (1964), and Erik Erikson studied infant and child behaviour, and their observations were integrated into ego psychology. Their observational and empirical research described and explained early attachment issues, successful and faulty ego development, and psychological development through interpersonal interactions.

Spitz identified the importance of mother-infant nonverbal emotional reciprocity; Mahler refined the traditional psychosexual developmental phases by adding the separation-individuation process; and Jacobson emphasized how libidinal and aggressive impulses unfolded within the context of early relationships and environmental factors. Finally, Erik Erikson provided a bold reformulation of Freud’s biologic, epigenetic psychosexual theory through his explorations of socio-cultural influences on ego development. For Erikson, an individual was pushed by his or her own biological urges and pulled by socio-cultural forces.

Decline

In the United States, ego psychology was the predominant psychoanalytic approach from the 1940s through the 1960s. Initially, this was due to the influx of European psychoanalysts, including prominent ego psychologists like Hartmann, Kris, and Loewenstein, during and after World War II. These European analysts settled throughout the United States and trained the next generation of American psychoanalysts.

By the 1970s, several challenges to the philosophical, theoretical, and clinical tenets of ego psychology emerged. The most prominent of which were: a “rebellion” led by Rapaport’s protégés (George Klein, Robert Holt, Roy Schafer, and Merton Gill); object relations theory; and self psychology.

Contemporary

Modern Conflict Theory

Charles Brenner (1982) attempted to revive ego psychology with a concise and incisive articulation of the fundamental focus of psychoanalysis: intrapsychic conflict and the resulting compromise formations. Over time, Brenner (2002) tried to develop a more clinically based theory, what came to be called “modern conflict theory.” He distanced himself from the formal components of the structural theory and its metapsychological assumptions, and focused entirely on compromise formations.

Heinz Kohut developed self psychology, a theoretical and therapeutic model related to ego psychology, in the late 1960s. Self psychology focuses on the mental model of the self as important in pathologies.

Ego Functions

FunctionDescription
Reality Testing1. The ego’s capacity to distinguish what is occurring in one’s own mind from what is occurring in the external world.
2. It is perhaps the single most important ego function because negotiating with the outside world requires accurately perceiving and understanding stimuli.
3. Reality testing is often subject to temporary, mild distortion or deterioration under stressful conditions.
4. Such impairment can result in temporary delusions and hallucination and is generally selective, clustering along specific, psychodynamic lines.
5. Chronic deficiencies suggest either psychotic or organic interference.
Impulse Control1. The ability to manage aggressive and/or libidinal wishes without immediate discharge through behaviour or symptoms.
2. Problems with impulse control are common; for example: road rage; sexual promiscuity; excessive drug and alcohol use; and binge eating.
Affect Regulation1. The ability to modulate feelings without being overwhelmed.
Judgement1. The capacity to act responsibly.
2. This process includes identifying possible courses of action, anticipating and evaluating likely consequences, and making decisions as to what is appropriate in certain circumstances.
Object Relations1. The capacity for mutually satisfying relationship.
2. The individual can perceive himself and others as whole objects with three dimensional qualities.
Thought Processes1. The ability to have logical, coherent, and abstract thoughts.
2. In stressful situations, thought processes can become disorganised.
3. The presence of chronic or severe problems in conceptual thinking is frequently associated with schizophrenia and manic episodes.
Defensive Functioning1. A defence is an unconscious attempt to protect the individual from some powerful, identity-threatening feeling.
2. Initial defences develop in infancy and involve the boundary between the self and the outer world; they are considered primitive defences and include projection, denial, and splitting.
3. As the child grows up, more sophisticated defences that deal with internal boundaries such as those between ego and super ego or the id develop; these defences include repression, regression, displacement, and reaction formation.
4. All adults have, and use, primitive defences, but most people also have more mature ways of coping with reality and anxiety.
Synthesis1. The synthetic function is the ego’s capacity to organize and unify other functions within the personality.
2. It enables the individual to think, feel, and act in a coherent manner.
3. It includes the capacity to integrate potentially contradictory experiences, ideas, and feelings; for example, a child loves his or her mother yet also has angry feelings toward her at times.
4. The ability to synthesize these feelings is a pivotal developmental achievement.

Reality testing involves the individual’s capacity to understand and accept both physical and social reality as it is consensually defined within a given culture or cultural subgroup. In large measure, the function hinges on the individual’s capacity to distinguish between her own wishes or fears (internal reality) and events that occur in the real world (external reality). The ability to make distinctions that are consensually validated determines the ego’s capacity to distinguish and mediate between personal expectations, on the one hand, and social expectations or laws of nature on the other. Individuals vary considerably in how they manage this function. When the function is seriously compromised, individuals may withdraw from contact with reality for extended periods of time. This degree of withdrawal is most frequently seen in psychotic conditions. Most times, however, the function is mildly or moderately compromised for a limited period of time, with far less drastic consequences’ (Berzoff, 2011).

Judgment involves the capacity to reach “reasonable” conclusions about what is and what is not “appropriate” behaviour. Typically, arriving at a “reasonable” conclusion involves the following steps: (1) correlating wishes, feeling states, and memories about prior life experiences with current circumstances; (2) evaluating current circumstances in the context of social expectations and laws of nature (e.g. it is not possible to transport oneself instantly out of an embarrassing situation, no matter how much one wishes to do so); and (3) drawing realistic conclusions about the likely consequences of different possible courses of action. As the definition suggests, judgment is closely related to reality testing, and the two functions are usually evaluated in tandem (Berzoff, 2011).

Modulating and controlling impulses is based on the capacity to hold sexual and aggressive feelings in check with out acting on them until the ego has evaluated whether they meet the individual’s own moral standards and are acceptable in terms of social norms. Adequate functioning in this area depends on the individual’s capacity to tolerate frustration, to delay gratification, and to tolerate anxiety without immediately acting to ameliorate it. Impulse control also depends on the ability to exercise appropriate judgment in situations where the individual is strongly motivated to seek relief from psychological tension and/or to pursue some pleasurable activity (sex, power, fame, money, etc.). Problems in modulation may involve either too little or too much control over impulses (Berzoff, 2011).

Modulation of affect The ego performs this function by preventing painful or unacceptable emotional reactions from entering conscious awareness, or by managing the expression of such feelings in ways that do not disrupt either emotional equilibrium or social relationships. To adequately perform this function, the ego constantly monitors the source, intensity, and direction of feeling states, as well as the people toward whom feelings will be directed. Monitoring determines whether such states will be acknowledged or expressed and, if so, in what form. The basic principle to remember in evaluating how well the ego manages this function is that affect modulation may be problematic because of too much or too little expression. As an integral part of the monitoring process, the ego evaluates the type of expression that is most congruent with established social norms. For example, in white American culture it is assumed that individuals will contain themselves and maintain a high level of personal/vocational functioning except in extremely traumatic situations such as death of a family member, very serious illness or terrible accident. This standard is not necessarily the norm in other cultures (Berzhoff, Flanagan, & Hertz, 2011).

Object relations involves the ability to form and maintain coherent representations of others and of the self. The concept refers not only to the people one interacts with in the external world but also to significant others who are remembered and represented within the mind. Adequate functioning implies the ability to maintain a basically positive view of the other, even when one feels disappointed, frustrated, or angered by the other’s behaviour. Disturbances in object relations may manifest themselves through an inability to fall in love, emotional coldness, lack of interest in or withdrawal from interactions with others, intense dependency, and/or an excessive need to control relationships (Berzhoff, Flanagan, & Hertz, 2011).

Self-esteem regulation involves the capacity to maintain a steady and reasonable level of positive self-regard in the face of distressing or frustrating external events. Painful affective states, including anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt, as well as exhilarating emotions such as triumph, glee, and ecstasy may also undermine self-esteem. Generally speaking, in dominant American culture a measured expression of both pain and pleasure is expressed; excess in either direction is a cause for concern. White Western culture tends to assume that individuals will maintain a consistent and steadily level of self-esteem, regardless of external events or internally generated feeling states (Berzhoff, Flanagan, & Hertz, 2011).

Mastery when conceptualized as an ego function, mastery reflects the epigenetic view that individuals achieve more advanced levels of ego organization by mastering successive developmental challenges. Each stage of psychosexual development (oral, anal, phallic, genital) presents a particular challenge that must be adequately addressed before the individual can move on to the next higher stage. By mastering stage-specific challenges, the ego gains strength in relations to the other structures of the mind and thereby becomes more effective in organizing and synthesizing mental processes. Freud expressed this principle in his statement, “Where id was, shall ego be.” An undeveloped capacity for mastery can be seen, for example, in infants who have not been adequately nourished, stimulated, and protected during the first year of life, in the oral stage of development. When they enter the anal stage, such infants are not well prepared to learn socially acceptable behaviour or to control the pleasure they derive from defecating at will. As a result, some of them will experience delays in achieving bowel control and will have difficulty in controlling temper tantrums, while others will sink into a passive, joyless compliance with parental demands that compromises their ability to explore, learn, and become physically competent. Conversely, infants who have been well gratified and adequately stimulated during the oral stage enter the anal stage feeling relatively secure and confident. For the most part, they cooperate in curbing their anal desires, and are eager to win parental approval for doing so. In addition, they are physically active, free to learn and eager to explore. As they gain confidence in their increasingly autonomous physical and mental abilities, they also learn to follow the rules their parents establish and, in doing so, with parental approval. As they master the specific tasks related to the anal stage, they are well prepared to move on to the next stage of development and the next set of challenges. When adults have problems with mastery, they usually enact them in derivative or symbolic ways (Berzhoff, Flanagan, & Hertz, 2011).

Conflict, Defence and Resistance Analysis

According to Freud’s structural theory, an individual’s libidinal and aggressive impulses are continuously in conflict with his or her own conscience as well as with the limits imposed by reality. In certain circumstances, these conflicts may lead to neurotic symptoms. Thus, the goal of psychoanalytic treatment is to establish a balance between bodily needs, psychological wants, one’s own conscience, and social constraints. Ego psychologists argue that the conflict is best addressed by the psychological agency that has the closest relationship to consciousness, unconsciousness, and reality: the ego.

The clinical technique most commonly associated with ego psychology is defence analysis. Through clarifying, confronting, and interpreting the typical defence mechanisms a patient uses, ego psychologists hope to help the patient gain control over these mechanisms.

Cultural Influences

  • The classical scholar E. R. Dodds used ego psychology as the framework for his influential study The Greeks and the Irrational (1951).
  • The Sterbas relied on Hartmann’s conflict-free sphere to help explain the contradictions they found in Beethoven’s character in Beethoven and His Nephew (1954).

Criticisms

A number of authors have criticised Hartmann’s conception of a conflict-free sphere of ego functioning as both incoherent and inconsistent with Freud’s vision of psychoanalysis as a science of mental conflict. Freud believed that the ego itself takes shape as a result of the conflict between the id and the external world. The ego, therefore, is inherently a conflicting formation in the mind. To state, as Hartmann did, that the ego contains a conflict-free sphere may not be consistent with key propositions of Freud’s structural theory.

Ego psychology, and ‘Anna-Freudianism’, were together seen by Kleinians as maintaining a conformist, adaptative version of psychoanalysis inconsistent with Freud’s own views. Hartmann claimed, however, that his aim was to understand the mutual regulation of the ego and environment rather than to promote adjustment of the ego to the environment. Furthermore, an individual with a less-conflicted ego would be better able to actively respond and shape, rather than passively react to, his or her environment.

Jacques Lacan was if anything still more opposed to ego psychology, using his concept of the Imaginary to stress the role of identifications in building up the ego in the first place. Lacan saw in the “non-conflictual sphere…a down-at-heel mirage that had already been rejected as untenable by the most academic psychology of introspection’.

References

Berzoff, J., Flanagan, L.M. & Hertz, P (2011). Inside out and outside in: Psychodynamic clinical theory and psychopathology in contemporary multicultural contexts. (3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Mitchell, S.A. & Black, M.J. (1995). Freud and beyond: A history of modern psychoanalytic thought. New York: Basic Books.

What is Logotherapy?

Introduction

Logotherapy was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, on a concept based on the premise that the primary motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life.

Frankl describes it as “the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy” along with Freud’s psychoanalysis and Adler’s individual psychology. Logotherapy is based on an existential analysis focusing on Kierkegaard’s will to meaning as opposed to Alfred Adler’s Nietzschean doctrine of will to power or Freud’s will to pleasure. Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that striving to find meaning in life is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans.

A short introduction to this system is given in Frankl’s most famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he outlines how his theories helped him to survive his Holocaust experience and how that experience further developed and reinforced his theories. Presently, there are a number of logotherapy institutes around the world.

Basic Principles

The notion of Logotherapy was created with the Greek word logos (“reason”). Frankl’s concept is based on the premise that the primary motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life. The following list of tenets represents basic principles of logotherapy:

  • Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
  • Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
  • We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stance we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.

The human spirit is referred to in several of the assumptions of logotherapy, but the use of the term spirit is not “spiritual” or “religious”. In Frankl’s view, the spirit is the will of the human being. The emphasis, therefore, is on the search for meaning, which is not necessarily the search for God or any other supernatural being. Frankl also noted the barriers to humanity’s quest for meaning in life. He warns against “…affluence, hedonism, [and] materialism…” in the search for meaning.

Purpose in life and meaning in life constructs appeared in Frankl’s logotherapy writings with relation to existential vacuum and will to meaning, as well as others who have theorised about and defined positive psychological functioning. Frankl observed that it may be psychologically damaging when a person’s search for meaning is blocked. Positive life purpose and meaning was associated with strong religious beliefs, membership in groups, dedication to a cause, life values, and clear goals. Adult development and maturity theories include the purpose in life concept. Maturity emphasizes a clear comprehension of life’s purpose, directedness, and intentionality which contributes to the feeling that life is meaningful.

Frankl’s ideas were operationalized by Crumbaugh and Maholick’s Purpose in Life (PIL) test, which measures an individual’s meaning and purpose in life. With the test, investigators found that meaning in life mediated the relationships between religiosity and well-being; uncontrollable stress and substance use; depression and self-derogation. Crumbaugh found that the Seeking of Noetic Goals Test (SONG) is a complementary measure of the PIL. While the PIL measures the presence of meaning, the SONG measures orientation towards meaning. A low score in the PIL but a high score in the SONG, would predict a better outcome in the application of Logotherapy.

Discovering Meaning

According to Frankl, “We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering” and that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances”. On the meaning of suffering, Frankl gives the following example:

“Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now how could I help him? What should I tell him? I refrained from telling him anything, but instead confronted him with a question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive without you?:” “Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it is you who have spared her this suffering; but now, you have to pay for it by surviving and mourning her.” He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left the office.

Frankl emphasized that realising the value of suffering is meaningful only when the first two creative possibilities are not available (for example, in a concentration camp) and only when such suffering is inevitable – he was not proposing that people suffer unnecessarily.

Philosophical Basis of Logotherapy

Frankl described the meta-clinical implications of logotherapy in his book The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy. He believed that there is no psychotherapy apart from the theory of the individual. As an existential psychologist, he inherently disagreed with the “machine model” or “rat model”, as it undermines the human quality of humans. As a neurologist and psychiatrist, Frankl developed a unique view of determinism to coexist with the three basic pillars of logotherapy (the freedom of will). Though Frankl admitted that a person can never be free from every condition, such as, biological, sociological, or psychological determinants; based on his experience during his life in the Nazi concentration camps, he believed that a person is “capable of resisting and braving even the worst conditions”. In doing such, a person can detach from situations and themselves, choose an attitude about themselves, and determine their own determinants, thus shaping their own character and becoming responsible for themselves.

Logotherapeutic Views and Treatment

Overcoming Anxiety

By recognising the purpose of our circumstances, one can master anxiety. Anecdotes about this use of logotherapy are given by New York Times writer Tim Sanders, who explained how he uses its concept to relieve the stress of fellow airline travellers by asking them the purpose of their journey. When he does this, no matter how miserable they are, their whole demeanour changes, and they remain happy throughout the flight. Overall, Frankl believed that the anxious individual does not understand that their anxiety is the result of dealing with a sense of “unfulfilled responsibility” and ultimately a lack of meaning.

Treatment of Neurosis

Frankl cites two neurotic pathogens: hyper-intention, a forced intention toward some end which makes that end unattainable; and hyper-reflection, an excessive attention to oneself which stifles attempts to avoid the neurosis to which one thinks oneself predisposed. Frankl identified anticipatory anxiety, a fear of a given outcome which makes that outcome more likely. To relieve the anticipatory anxiety and treat the resulting neuroses, logotherapy offers paradoxical intention, wherein the patient intends to do the opposite of their hyper-intended goal.

A person, then, who fears (i.e. experiences anticipatory anxiety over) not getting a good night’s sleep may try too hard (that is, hyper-intend) to fall asleep, and this would hinder their ability to do so. A logotherapist would recommend, then, that the person go to bed and intentionally try not to fall asleep. This would relieve the anticipatory anxiety which kept the person awake in the first place, thus allowing them to fall asleep in an acceptable amount of time.

Depression

Viktor Frankl believed depression occurred at the psychological, physiological, and spiritual levels. At the psychological level, he believed that feelings of inadequacy stem from undertaking tasks beyond our abilities. At the physiological level, he recognised a “vital low”, which he defined as a “diminishment of physical energy”. Finally, Frankl believed that at the spiritual level, the depressed individual faces tension between who they actually are in relation to what they should be. Frankl refers to this as the gaping abyss. Finally Frankl suggests that if goals seem unreachable, an individual loses a sense of future and thus meaning resulting in depression. Thus logotherapy aims “to change the patient’s attitude toward their disease as well as toward their life as a task”.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Frankl believed that those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder lack the sense of completion that most other individuals possess. Instead of fighting the tendencies to repeat thoughts or actions, or focusing on changing the individual symptoms of the disease, the therapist should focus on “transform[ing] the neurotic’s attitude toward their neurosis”. Therefore, it is important to recognise that the patient is “not responsible for his obsessional ideas”, but that “he is certainly responsible for his attitude toward these ideas”. Frankl suggested that it is important for the patient to recognise their inclinations toward perfection as fate, and therefore, must learn to accept some degrees of uncertainty. Ultimately, following the premise of logotherapy, the patient must eventually ignore their obsessional thoughts and find meaning in their life despite such thoughts.

Schizophrenia

Though logotherapy was not intended to deal with severe disorders, Frankl believed that logotherapy could benefit even those suffering from schizophrenia. He recognised the roots of schizophrenia in physiological dysfunction. In this dysfunction, the person with schizophrenia “experiences himself as an object” rather than as a subject. Frankl suggested that a person with schizophrenia could be helped by logotherapy by first being taught to ignore voices and to end persistent self-observation. Then, during this same period, the person with schizophrenia must be led toward meaningful activity, as “even for the schizophrenic there remains that residue of freedom toward fate and toward the disease which man always possesses, no matter how ill he may be, in all situations and at every moment of life, to the very last”.

Terminally Ill Patients

In 1977, Terry Zuehlke and John Watkins conducted a study analysing the effectiveness of logotherapy in treating terminally ill patients. The study’s design used 20 male Veterans Administration volunteers who were randomly assigned to one of two possible treatments – (1) group that received 8 45-minute sessions over a 2-week period and (2) group used as control that received delayed treatment. Each group was tested on 5 scales – the MMPI K Scale, MMPI L Scale, Death Anxiety Scale, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and the Purpose of Life Test. The results showed an overall significant difference between the control and treatment groups. While the univariate analyses showed that there were significant group differences in 3/5 of the dependent measures. These results confirm the idea that terminally ill patients can benefit from logotherapy in coping with death.

Forms of Treatment

Ecce Homo is a method used in logotherapy. It requires of the therapist to note the innate strengths that people have and how they have dealt with adversity and suffering in life. Despite everything a person may have gone through, they made the best of their suffering! Hence, Ecce Homo – Behold the Man!

Controversy

Authoritarianism

In 1969 Rollo May argued that logotherapy is, in essence, authoritarian. He suggested that Frankl’s therapy presents a plain solution to all of life’s problems, an assertion that would seem to undermine the complexity of human life itself. May contended that if a patient could not find their own meaning, Frankl would provide a goal for his patient. In effect, this would negate the patient’s personal responsibility, thus “diminish[ing] the patient as a person”. Frankl explicitly replied to May’s arguments through a written dialogue, sparked by Rabbi Reuven Bulka’s article “Is Logotherapy Authoritarian?”. Frankl responded that he combined the prescription of medication, if necessary, with logotherapy, to deal with the person’s psychological and emotional reaction to the illness, and highlighted areas of freedom and responsibility, where the person is free to search and to find meaning.

Religiousness

Critical views of the life of logotherapy’s founder and his work assume that Frankl’s religious background and experience of suffering guided his conception of meaning within the boundaries of the person and therefore that logotherapy is founded on Viktor Frankl’s worldview. Many researchers argue that logotherapy is not a “scientific” psychotherapeutic school in the traditional sense but a philosophy of life, a system of values, a secular religion which is not fully coherent and is based on questionable metaphysical premises.

Frankl openly spoke and wrote on religion and psychiatry, throughout his life, and specifically in his last book, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning (1997). He asserted that every person has a spiritual unconscious, independently of religious views or beliefs, yet Frankl’s conception of the spiritual unconscious does not necessarily entail religiosity. In Frankl’s words: “It is true, Logotherapy, deals with the Logos; it deals with Meaning. Specifically, I see Logotherapy in helping others to see meaning in life. But we cannot “give” meaning to the life of others. And if this is true of meaning per se, how much does it hold for Ultimate Meaning?” The American Psychiatric Association awarded Viktor Frankl the 1985 Oskar Pfister Award (for important contributions to religion and psychiatry).

Recent Developments

Since the 1990s, the number of institutes providing education and training in logotherapy continues to increase worldwide. Numerous logotherapeutic concepts have been integrated and applied in different fields, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and burnout prevention. The logotherapeutic concepts of noogenic neurosis and existential crisis were added to the ICD 11 under the name demoralisation crisis, i.e. a construct that features hopelessness, meaninglessness, and existential distress as first described by Frankl in the 1950s. Logotherapy has also been associated with psychosomatic and physiological health benefits. Besides Logotherapy, other meaning-centred psychotherapeutic approaches such as positive psychology and meaning therapy have emerged. Paul Wong’s meaning therapy attempts to translate logotherapy into psychological mechanisms, integrating CBT, positive psychotherapy and the positive psychology research on meaning. Logotherapy is also being applied in the field of oncology and palliative care (William Breitbart). These recent developments introduce Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy to a new generation and extend its impact to new areas of research.

What is Neuropsychology?

Introduction

Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that is concerned with how a person’s cognition and behaviour are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on how injuries or illnesses of the brain affect cognitive and behavioural functions.

It is both an experimental and clinical field of psychology, thus aiming to understand how behaviour and cognition are influenced by brain function and concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of behavioural and cognitive effects of neurological disorders. Whereas classical neurology focuses on the pathology of the nervous system and classical psychology is largely divorced from it, neuropsychology seeks to discover how the brain correlates with the mind through the study of neurological patients. It thus shares concepts and concerns with neuropsychiatry and with behavioural neurology in general. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. It has also been applied in efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells (or groups of cells) in higher primates (including some studies of human patients).

In practice, neuropsychologists tend to work in research settings (universities, laboratories or research institutions), clinical settings (medical hospitals or rehabilitation settings, often involved in assessing or treating patients with neuropsychological problems), or forensic settings or industry (often as clinical-trial consultants where CNS function is a concern).

Brief History

Neuropsychology is a relatively new discipline within the field of psychology. The first textbook defining the field, Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, was initially published by Kolb and Whishaw in 1980. However, the history of its development can be traced back to the Third Dynasty in ancient Egypt, perhaps even earlier. There is much debate as to when societies started considering the functions of different organs. For many centuries, the brain was thought useless and was often discarded during burial processes and autopsies. As the field of medicine developed its understanding of human anatomy and physiology, different theories were developed as to why the body functioned the way it did. Many times, bodily functions were approached from a religious point of view and abnormalities were blamed on bad spirits and the gods. The brain has not always been considered the centre of the functioning body. It has taken hundreds of years to develop our understanding of the brain and how it affects our behaviours.

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, writings on medicine date from the time of the priest Imhotep. They took a more scientific approach to medicine and disease, describing the brain, trauma, abnormalities, and remedies for reference for future physicians. Despite this, Egyptians saw the heart, not the brain, as the seat of the soul.

Aristotle

Aristotle reinforced this focus on the heart which originated in Egypt. He believed the heart to be in control of mental processes, and looked on the brain, due to its inert nature, as a mechanism for cooling the heat generated by the heart. He drew his conclusions based on the empirical study of animals. He found that while their brains were cold to the touch and that such contact did not trigger any movements, the heart was warm and active, accelerating and slowing dependent on mood. Such beliefs were upheld by many for years to come, persisting through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period until they began to falter in the 17th century due to further research. The influence of Aristotle in the development of neuropsychology is evident within language used in modern day, since we “follow our hearts” and “learn by the heart.”

Hippocrates

Hippocrates viewed the brain as the seat of the soul. He drew a connection between the brain and behaviours of the body, writing: “The brain exercises the greatest power in the man.” Apart from moving the focus from the heart as the “seat of the soul” to the brain, Hippocrates did not go into much detail about its actual functioning. However, by switching the attention of the medical community to the brain, his theory led to more scientific discovery of the organ responsible for our behaviours. For years to come, scientists were inspired to explore the functions of the body and to find concrete explanations for both normal and abnormal behaviours. Scientific discovery led them to believe that there were natural and organically occurring reasons to explain various functions of the body, and it could all be traced back to the brain. Hippocrates introduced the concept of the mind – which was widely seen as a separate function apart from the actual brain organ.

René Descartes

Philosopher René Descartes expanded upon this idea and is most widely known for his work on the mind-body problem. Often Descartes’s ideas were looked upon as overly philosophical and lacking in sufficient scientific foundation. Descartes focused much of his anatomical experimentation on the brain, paying special attention to the pineal gland – which he argued was the actual “seat of the soul.” Still deeply rooted in a spiritual outlook towards the scientific world, the body was said to be mortal, and the soul immortal. The pineal gland was then thought to be the very place at which the mind would interact with the mortal and machine-like body. At the time, Descartes was convinced the mind had control over the behaviours of the body (controlling the person) – but also that the body could have influence over the mind, which is referred to as dualism. This idea that the mind essentially had control over the body, but the body could resist or even influence other behaviours, was a major turning point in the way many physiologists would look at the brain. The capabilities of the mind were observed to do much more than simply react, but also to be rational and function in organised, thoughtful ways – much more complex than he thought the animal world to be. These ideas, although disregarded by many and cast aside for years led the medical community to expand their own ideas of the brain and begin to understand in new ways just how intricate the workings of the brain really were, and the complete effects it had on daily life, as well as which treatments would be the most beneficial to helping those people living with a dysfunctional mind. The mind-body problem, spurred by René Descartes, continues to this day with many philosophical arguments both for and against his ideas. However controversial they were and remain today, the fresh and well-thought-out perspective Descartes presented has had long-lasting effects on the various disciplines of medicine, psychology and much more, especially in putting an emphasis on separating the mind from the body in order to explain observable behaviours.

Thomas Willis

It was in the mid-17th century that another major contributor to the field of neuropsychology emerged. Thomas Willis studied at Oxford University and took a physiological approach to the brain and behaviour. It was Willis who coined the words ‘hemisphere’ and ‘lobe’ when referring to the brain. He was one of the earliest to use the words ‘neurology’ and ‘psychology’. Rejecting the idea that humans were the only beings capable of rational thought, Willis looked at specialised structures of the brain. He theorised that higher structures accounted for complex functions, whereas lower structures were responsible for functions similar to those seen in other animals, consisting mostly of reactions and automatic responses. He was particularly interested in people who suffered from manic disorders and hysteria. His research constituted some of the first times that psychiatry and neurology came together to study individuals. Through his in-depth study of the brain and behaviour, Willis concluded that automated responses such as breathing, heartbeats and other various motor activities were carried out within the lower region of the brain. Although much of his work has been made obsolete, his ideas presented the brain as more complex than previously imagined, and led the way for future pioneers to understand and build upon his theories, especially when it came to looking at disorders and dysfunctions in the brain.

Franz Joseph Gall

Neuroanatomist and physiologist Franz Joseph Gall made major progress in understanding the brain. He theorized that personality was directly related to features and structures within the brain. However, Gall’s major contribution within the field of neuroscience is his invention of phrenology. This new discipline looked at the brain as an organ of the mind, where the shape of the skull could ultimately determine one’s intelligence and personality. This theory was like many circulating at the time, as many scientists were taking into account physical features of the face and body, head size, anatomical structure, and levels of intelligence; only Gall looked primarily at the brain. There was much debate over the validity of Gall’s claims however, because he was often found to be wrong in his predictions. He was once sent a cast of René Descartes’ skull, and through his method of phrenology claimed the subject must have had a limited capacity for reasoning and higher cognition. As controversial and false as many of Gall’s claims were, his contributions to understanding cortical regions of the brain and localised activity continued to advance understanding of the brain, personality, and behaviour. His work is considered crucial to having laid a firm foundation in the field of neuropsychology, which would flourish over the next few decades.

Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud

Towards the late 19th century, the belief that the size of ones skull could determine their level of intelligence was discarded as science and medicine moved forward. A physician by the name of Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud expanded upon the ideas of Gall and took a closer look at the idea of distinct cortical regions of the brain each having their own independent function. Bouillaud was specifically interested in speech and wrote many publications on the anterior region of the brain being responsible for carrying out the act of ones speech, a discovery that had stemmed from the research of Gall. He was also one of the first to use larger samples for research although it took many years for that method to be accepted. By looking at over a hundred different case studies, Bouillaud came to discover that it was through different areas of the brain that speech is completed and understood. By observing people with brain damage, his theory was made more concrete. Bouillaud, along with many other pioneers of the time made great advances within the field of neurology, especially when it came to localisation of function. There are many arguable debates as to who deserves the most credit for such discoveries, and often, people remain unmentioned, but Paul Broca is perhaps one of the most famous and well known contributors to neuropsychology – often referred to as “the father” of the discipline.

Paul Broca

Inspired by the advances being made in the area of localised function within the brain, Paul Broca committed much of his study to the phenomena of how speech is understood and produced. Through his study, it was discovered and expanded upon that we articulate via the left hemisphere. Broca’s observations and methods are widely considered to be where neuropsychology really takes form as a recognisable and respected discipline. Armed with the understanding that specific, independent areas of the brain are responsible for articulation and understanding of speech, the brains abilities were finally being acknowledged as the complex and highly intricate organ that it is. Broca was essentially the first to fully break away from the ideas of phrenology and delve deeper into a more scientific and psychological view of the brain.

Karl Spencer Lashley

Lashley’s works and theories that follow are summarised in his book Brain Mechanisms and Intelligence. Lashley’s theory of the Engram was the driving force for much of his research. An engram was believed to be a part of the brain where a specific memory was stored. He continued to use the training/ablation method that Franz had taught him. He would train a rat to learn a maze and then use systematic lesions and removed sections of cortical tissue to see if the rat forgot what it had learned.

Through his research with the rats, he learned that forgetting was dependent on the amount of tissue removed and not where it was removed from. He called this mass action and he believed that it was a general rule that governed how brain tissue would respond, independent of the type of learning. But we know now that mass action was a misinterpretation of his empirical results, because in order to run a maze the rats required multiple cortical areas. Cutting into small individual parts alone will not impair the rats’ brains much, but taking large sections removes multiple cortical areas at one time, affecting various functions such as sight, motor coordination and memory, making the animal unable to run a maze properly.

Lashley also proposed that a portion of a functional area could carry out the role of the entire area, even when the rest of the area has been removed. He called this phenomenon equipotentiality. We know now that he was seeing evidence of plasticity in the brain: within certain constraints the brain has the ability for certain areas to take over the functions of other areas if those areas should fail or be removed – although not to the extent initially argued by Lashley.

Approaches

Experimental neuropsychology is an approach that uses methods from experimental psychology to uncover the relationship between the nervous system and cognitive function. The majority of work involves studying healthy humans in a laboratory setting, although a minority of researchers may conduct animal experiments. Human work in this area often takes advantage of specific features of our nervous system (for example that visual information presented to a specific visual field is preferentially processed by the cortical hemisphere on the opposite side) to make links between neuroanatomy and psychological function.

Clinical neuropsychology is the application of neuropsychological knowledge to the assessment (see neuropsychological test and neuropsychological assessment), management, and rehabilitation of people who have suffered illness or injury (particularly to the brain) which has caused neurocognitive problems. In particular they bring a psychological viewpoint to treatment, to understand how such illness and injury may affect and be affected by psychological factors. They also can offer an opinion as to whether a person is demonstrating difficulties due to brain pathology or as a consequence of an emotional or another (potentially) reversible cause or both. For example, a test might show that both patients X and Y are unable to name items that they have been previously exposed to within the past 20 minutes (indicating possible dementia). If patient Y can name some of them with further prompting (e.g. given a categorical clue such as being told that the item they could not name is a fruit), this allows a more specific diagnosis than simply dementia (Y appears to have the vascular type which is due to brain pathology but is usually at least somewhat reversible). Clinical neuropsychologists often work in hospital settings in an interdisciplinary medical team; others work in private practice and may provide expert input into medico-legal proceedings.

Cognitive neuropsychology is a relatively new development and has emerged as a distillation of the complementary approaches of both experimental and clinical neuropsychology. It seeks to understand the mind and brain by studying people who have suffered brain injury or neurological illness. One model of neuropsychological functioning is known as functional localisation. This is based on the principle that if a specific cognitive problem can be found after an injury to a specific area of the brain, it is possible that this part of the brain is in some way involved. However, there may be reason to believe that the link between mental functions and neural regions is not so simple. An alternative model of the link between mind and brain, such as parallel processing, may have more explanatory power for the workings and dysfunction of the human brain. Yet another approach investigates how the pattern of errors produced by brain-damaged individuals can constrain our understanding of mental representations and processes without reference to the underlying neural structure. A more recent but related approach is cognitive neuropsychiatry which seeks to understand the normal function of mind and brain by studying psychiatric or mental illness.

Connectionism is the use of artificial neural networks to model specific cognitive processes using what are considered to be simplified but plausible models of how neurons operate. Once trained to perform a specific cognitive task these networks are often damaged or ‘lesioned’ to simulate brain injury or impairment in an attempt to understand and compare the results to the effects of brain injury in humans.

Functional neuroimaging uses specific neuroimaging technologies to take readings from the brain, usually when a person is doing a particular task, in an attempt to understand how the activation of particular brain areas is related to the task. In particular, the growth of methodologies to employ cognitive testing within established functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to study brain-behaviour relations is having a notable influence on neuropsychological research.

In practice these approaches are not mutually exclusive and most neuropsychologists select the best approach or approaches for the task to be completed.

Methods and Tools

Standardised Neuropsychological Tests

These tasks have been designed so the performance on the task can be linked to specific neurocognitive processes. These tests are typically standardised, meaning that they have been administered to a specific group (or groups) of individuals before being used in individual clinical cases. The data resulting from standardisation are known as normative data. After these data have been collected and analysed, they are used as the comparative standard against which individual performances can be compared. Examples of neuropsychological tests include: the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS), the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), Boston Naming Test, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Benton Visual Retention Test, and the Controlled Oral Word Association.

Brain Scans

The use of brain scans to investigate the structure or function of the brain is common, either as simply a way of better assessing brain injury with high resolution pictures, or by examining the relative activations of different brain areas. Such technologies may include fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and positron emission tomography (PET), which yields data related to functioning, as well as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and computed axial tomography (CAT or CT), which yields structural data.

Global Brain Project

Brain models based on mouse and monkey have been developed based on theoretical neuroscience involving working memory and attention, while mapping brain activity based on time constants validated by measurements of neuronal activity in various layers of the brain. These methods also map to decision states of behaviour in simple tasks that involve binary outcomes.

Electrophysiology

The use of electrophysiological measures designed to measure the activation of the brain by measuring the electrical or magnetic field produced by the nervous system. This may include electroencephalography (EEG) or magneto-encephalography (MEG).

Experimental Tasks

The use of designed experimental tasks, often controlled by computer and typically measuring reaction time and accuracy on a particular tasks thought to be related to a specific neurocognitive process. An example of this is the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) or CNS Vital Signs (CNSVS).

What is School Psychology?

Introduction

School psychology is a field that applies principles from educational psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology, and behaviour analysis to meet the learning and behavioural health needs of children and adolescents.

It is an area of applied psychology practiced by a school psychologist. They often collaborate with educators, families, school leaders, community members, and other professionals to create safe and supportive school environments.

School psychologists primarily work with students who have learning disabilities, behavioural difficulties, mental disorders, and other health issues. They carry out psychological testing, psychoeducational assessment, intervention, prevention, counselling, and consultation in the ethical, legal, and administrative codes of their profession.

Background

School psychology dates back to the beginning of American psychology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The field is tied to both functional and clinical psychology. School psychology actually came out of functional psychology. School psychologists were interested in childhood behaviours, learning processes, and dysfunction with life or in the brain itself. They wanted to understand the causes of the behaviours and their effects on learning. In addition to its origins in functional psychology, school psychology is also the earliest example of clinical psychology, beginning around 1890. While both clinical and school psychologists wanted to help improve the lives of children, they approached it in different ways. School psychologists were concerned with school learning and childhood behavioural problems, which largely contrasts the mental health focus of clinical psychologists.

Another significant event in the foundation of school psychology as it is today was the Thayer Conference. The Thayer Conference was first held in August 1954 in West Point, New York in Hotel Thayer. The 9 day-long conference was conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA). The purpose of the conference was to develop a position on the roles, functions, and necessary training and credentialing of a school psychologist. At the conference, forty-eight participants that represented practitioners and trainers of school psychologists discussed the roles and functions of a school psychologist and the most appropriate way to train them.

At the time of the Thayer Conference, school psychology was still a very young profession with only about 1,000 school psychology practitioners. One of the goals of the Thayer Conference was to define school psychologists. The agreed upon definition stated that school psychologists were psychologists who specialise in education and have specific knowledge of assessment and learning of all children. School psychologists use this knowledge to assist school personnel in enriching the lives of all children. This knowledge is also used to help identify and work with children with exceptional needs. It was discussed that a school psychologist must be able to assess and develop plans for children considered to be at risk. A school psychologist is also expected to better the lives of all children in the school; therefore, it was determined that school psychologists should be advisors in the planning and implementation of school curriculum. Participants at the conference felt that since school psychology is a specialty, individuals in the field should have a completed a two-year graduate training program or a four-year doctoral programme. Participants felt that states should be encouraged to establish certification standards to ensure proper training. It was also decided that a practicum experience be required to help facilitate experiential knowledge within the field.

The Thayer Conference is one of the most significant events in the history of school psychology because it was there that the field was initially shaped into what it is today. Before the Thayer Conference defined school psychology, practitioners used seventy-five different professional titles. By providing one title and a definition, the conference helped to get school psychologists recognised nationally. Since a consensus was reached regarding the standards of training and major functions of a school psychologist, the public can now be assured that all school psychologists are receiving adequate information and training to become a practitioner. It is essential that school psychologists meet the same qualifications and receive appropriate training nationwide. These essential standards were first addressed at the Thayer Conference. At the Thayer Conference some participants felt that in order to hold the title of a school psychologist an individual must have earned a doctoral degree.

The issues of titles, labels, and degree levels are still debated among psychologists today. However, APA and NASP reached a resolution on this issue in 2010.

Social Reform in the Early 1900s

The late 19th century marked the era of social reforms directed at children. It was due to these social reforms that the need for school psychologists emerged. These social reforms included compulsory schooling, juvenile courts, child labour laws as well as a growth of institutions serving children. Society was starting to “change the ‘meaning of children’ from an economic source of labour to a psychological source of love and affection”. Historian Thomas Fagan argues that the preeminent force behind the need for school psychology was compulsory schooling laws. Prior to the compulsory schooling law, only 20% of school aged children completed elementary school and only 8% completed high school. Due to the compulsory schooling laws, there was an influx of students with mental and physical defects who were required by law to be in school. There needed to be an alternative method of teaching for these different children. Between 1910 and 1914, schools in both rural and urban areas created small special education classrooms for these children. From the emergence of special education classrooms came the need for “experts” to help assist in the process of child selection for special education. Thus, school psychology was founded.

Important Contributors to the Founding

Lightner Witmer

Lightner Witmer has been acknowledged as the founder of school psychology. Witmer was a student of both Wilhelm Wundt and James Mckeen Cattell. While Wundt believed that psychology should deal with the average or typical performance, Cattell’s teachings emphasized individual differences. Witmer followed Cattell’s teachings and focused on learning about each individual child’s needs. Witmer opened the first psychological and child guidance clinic in 1896 at the University of Pennsylvania. Witmer’s goal was to prepare psychologists to help educators solve children’s learning problems, specifically those with individual differences. Witmer became an advocate for these special children. He was not focused on their deficits per se, but rather helping them overcome them, by looking at the individual’s positive progress rather than all they still could not achieve. Witmer stated that his clinic helped “to discover mental and moral defects and to treat the child in such a way that these defects may be overcome or rendered harmless through the development of other mental and moral traits”. He strongly believed that active clinical interventions could help to improve the lives of the individual children.

Since Witmer saw much success through his clinic, he saw the need for more experts to help these individuals. Witmer argued for special training for the experts working with exceptional children in special educational classrooms. He called for a “new profession which will be exercised more particularly in connection with educational problems, but for which the training of the psychologist will be a prerequisite”.

As Witmer believed in the appropriate training of these school psychologists, he also stressed the importance of appropriate and accurate testing of these special children. The IQ testing movement was sweeping through the world of education after its creation in 1905. However, the IQ test negatively influenced special education. The IQ test creators, Lewis Terman and Henry Goddard, held a nativist view of intelligence, believing that intelligence was inherited and difficult if not impossible to modify in any meaningful way through education.] These notions were often used as a basis for excluding children with disabilities from the public schools. Witmer argued against the standard pencil and paper IQ and Binet type tests in order to help select children for special education. Witmer’s child selection process included observations and having children perform certain mental tasks.

Granville Stanley Hall

Another important figure to the origin of school psychology was Granville Stanley Hall. Rather than looking at the individual child as Witmer did, Hall focused more on the administrators, teachers and parents of exceptional children He felt that psychology could make a contribution to the administrator system level of the application of school psychology. Hall created the child study movement, which helped to invent the concept of the “normal” child. Through Hall’s child study, he helped to work out the mappings of child development and focused on the nature and nurture debate of an individual’s deficit. Hall’s main focus of the movement was still the exceptional child despite the fact that he worked with atypical children.

Arnold Gesell

Bridging the gap between the child study movement, clinical psychology and special education, Arnold Gesell, was the first person in the United States to officially hold the title of school psychologist, Arnold Gesell. He successfully combined psychology and education by evaluating children and making recommendations for special teaching. Arnold Gesell paved the way for future school psychologists.

Gertrude Hildreth

Gertrude Hildreth was a psychologist with the Lincoln School at Teacher’s College, Columbia then at Brooklyn College in New York. She authored many books including the first book pertaining to school psychology titled, “Psychological Service for School Problems” written in 1930. The book discussed applying the science of psychology to address the perceived problems in schools. The main focus of the book was on applied educational psychology to improve learning outcomes. Hildreth listed 11 problems that can be solved by applying psychological techniques, including: instructional problems in the classroom, assessment of achievement, interpretation of test results, instructional groupings of students for optimal outcomes, vocational guidance, curriculum development, and investigations of exceptional pupils. Hildreth emphasized the importance of collaboration with parents and teachers. She is also known for her development of the Metropolitan Readiness Tests and for her contribution to the Metropolitan Achievement test. In 1933 and 1939 Hildreth published a bibliography of Mental Tests and Rating Scales encompassing a 50-year time period and over 4,000 titles. She wrote approximately 200 articles and bulletins and had an international reputation for her work in education.

Issues Related to School Psychology

Intervention

One of the primary roles and responsibilities of school psychologists working in schools is to ensure the interventions they utilise effectively address students’ behaviour problems. Issues arise when school psychologists do not select interventions with sufficient research-based evidence in being effective for the individual with whom they are working. School psychologists, as researchers and practitioners, can make important contributions to the development and implementation of scientifically based intervention and prevention programmes to address learning and behavioural needs of students (National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

There is a concern with implementing academic and behavioural interventions prior to the determination for special education services, and it has also been proposed that MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) may address these concerns. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recognises the need for evidence-based prevention and intervention practices to address student learning, social emotional development, behavioural performance, instructional methodology, school practices, classroom management, and other areas salient to school-based services and improving student outcomes (National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Intervention and prevention research needs to address a range of questions related not only to efficacy and effectiveness, but also to:

  • Feasibility given resources (e.g. time, money, staffing);
  • Acceptability (e.g. teacher, student, and community attitudes toward intervention strategies);
  • Social validity (the relevance of targeted outcomes to everyday life of students);
  • Integrity or fidelity (the extent to which individuals responsible for implementing an intervention can do so as intended by its designers); and
  • Sustainability (extent to which school staff can maintain the intervention over time, without support from external agents).

A specific example of an intervention that has recently become popular among school psychologists is the School-wide Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Authorised under IDEA, the PBIS offers a “preventative, positive, and systemic framework or approach to affect educational and behavioural change” and can be used in the support of Tiers 1-3 in the education system. Research from single-case design studies and group studies demonstrates that the intervention can result in a reduction of major disciplinary infractions and aggressive behaviour, improvement in academic achievement, an increase in prosocial behaviour, a reduction in bullying behaviour reported by teachers, and much more. Through consistent and strong implementation fidelity, PBIS can provide school psychologists opportunities to assist the administration, teaching staff, and students in broad and specific ways.

Prevention

A way in which school psychologists can help students is by creating primary prevention programmes. Information about prevention should also be connected to current events in the community.

Issues with Assessment Process

Empirical evidence has not confirmed biases in referral, assessment, or identification; however, inferences have been made that the special education process may be oversimplified. The National Research Council has called attention to the questionable reliability of educational decision making in special education as there can be vast numbers of false positives and/or false negatives. Misidentified students in special education is problematic and can contribute to long term negative outcomes.

During the identification process, school psychologists must consider ecological factors and environmental context such as socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status may limit funding and materials, impact curriculum quality, increase teacher-to-student ratios, and perpetuate a negative school climate.

Technological Issues

With the ever growing use of technology, school psychologists are faced with several issues, both ethical and within the populations they try to serve. As it is so easy to share and communicate over technology, concerns are raised as to just how easy it is for outsiders to get access to the private information that school psychologists deal with everyday. Thus exchanging and storing information digitally may come under scrutiny if precautions such as password protecting documents and specifically limiting access within school systems to personal files.

Then there is the issue of how students communicate using this technology. There are both concerns on how to address these virtual communications and on how appropriate it is to access them. Concerns on where the line can be drawn on where intervention methods end and invasion of privacy begin are raised by students, parents, administrators, and faculty. Addressing these behaviours becomes even more complicated when considering the current methods of treatment for problematic behaviours, and implementation of these strategies can become complex, if not impossible, within the use of technology.

To incorporate topics in a school, utilise lesson plans for students and staff because the teachers need to ensure the content is connected to other meaningful topics covered in the class/school.

Racial Disproportionality in Special Education

Disproportionality refers to a group’s under or overrepresentation in comparison to other groups within a certain context. In the field of school psychology, disproportionality of minority students in special education is a concern. Special Education Disproportionality has been defined as the relationship between one’s membership to a specific group and the probability of being placed in a specific disability category. Systemic prejudice is believed by some to be one of the root causes of the mischaracterisation of minority children as being disabled or problematic.

“Research on disproportionality in the U.S. context has posited two overlapping types of rationales: those who believed disproportionate representation is linked to poverty and health outcomes versus those who believed in the systemwide racist practices that contributed to over-representation of minority students.”

The United States Congress recently received an annual report on the implementation of IDEA which stated that proportionally Native Americans (14.09%) and African Americans (12.61%) were the two most highly represented racial groups within the realm of special education. In particular, African American males have been overidentified as having emotional disturbances and intellectual disabilities. They account for 21% of the special education population with emotional disturbances and 12% with learning disabilities. American Indian and Alaska Native students are also overrepresented in special education. They are shown to be 1.53 times more likely to receive services for various learning disabilities and 2.89 more likely to obtain services targeting developmental delays than all other Non-Native American student groups combined.] Overall, Hispanic students are often overidentified for special education in general; however, it is common for them to be under-identified for Autism Spectrum Disorder and speech and language impairments in comparison to White students.

Minority populations often have an increased susceptibility to economic, social and cultural disadvantages that can affect academic achievement. According to the US Department of Education, “Black children were three times as likely to live in poor families as white children in 2015. 12 percent of white and Asian children lived in poor families, compared with 36 percent of black children, 30 percent of Hispanic children, 33 percent of American Indian children, and 19 percent of others.” There may be other alternative explanations for behaviour and academic performance as well. For example, Black children are twice as likely as Whites to experience heightened levels of lead in the blood due to prolonged lead exposure. Lead poisoning can be known to affect a child’s behaviour by increasing their levels of irritability, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness even in less severe cases.

Cultural Biases

Some school psychologists realise the need to understand and accept their own cultural beliefs and values in order to understand the impact it may have when delivering services to clients and families. For example, these school psychologists ensure that students who are minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are being equally represented at the system level, in the classroom, and receiving a fair education.

For staff, it is important to look at one’s own culture while seeing the value in diversity. It is also vital to learn how to adapt to diversity and integrate a comprehensive way to understand cultural knowledge. Staff members should keep the terms race, privilege, implicit bias, micro aggression, and cultural relevance in mind when thinking about social justice.

Services

Behaviour Interventions

School psychologists are involved in the implementation of academic, behavioural, and social/emotional interventions within a school across a continuum of supports. These systems and policies should convey clear behaviour expectations and promote consistency among educators. Continuous reinforcement of positive behaviours can yield extremely positive results. Schoolwide positive behaviour supports A systematic approach that proactively promotes constructive behaviours in a school can yield positive outcomes. These programs are designed to improve and support students’ social, behavioural, and learning outcomes by promoting a positive school climate and providing targeted training to students and educators within a school. Data should be collected consistently to assess implementation effectiveness, screen and monitor student behaviour, and develop or modify action plans.

Academic Interventions

Academic interventions can be conceptualised as a set of procedures and strategies designed to improve student performance with the intent of closing the gap between how a student is currently performing and the expectations of how they should be performing. Short term and long term interventions used within a problem-solving model must be evidence-based. This means the intervention strategies must have been evaluated by research that utilised rigorous data analysis and peer review procedures to determine the effectiveness. Implementing evidence-based interventions for behaviour and academic concerns requires significant training, skill development, and supervised practice. Linking assessment and intervention is critical for determining that the correct intervention has been chosen. School psychologists have been specifically trained to ensure that interventions are implemented with integrity to maximise positive outcomes for children in a school setting.

Systems-Level Services

Leaders in the field of school psychology recognise the practical challenges that school psychologists face when striving for systems-level change and have highlighted a more manageable domain within a systems-level approach – the classroom. Overall, it makes sense for school psychologists to devote considerable effort to monitoring and improving school and classroom-based performance for all children and youth because it has been shown to be an effective preventive approach.

Universal Screening

School psychologists play an important role in supporting youth mental wellness, but identifying youth who are in distress can be challenging. Some schools have implemented universal mental health screening programs to help school psychologists find and help struggling youth. For instance, schools in King County, Washington are using the Check Yourself digital screening tool designed by Seattle Children’s Hospital to measure, understand, and nurture individual students’ well-being. Check Yourself collects information about lifestyle, behaviour, and social determinants of health to identify at-risk youth so that school psychologists can intervene and direct youth to the services they need. Mental health screening provides school psychologists with valuable insights so that interventions are better fitted to student needs.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is an integral part of school psychology. School administrators view school psychologists as the school’s crisis intervention “experts”. Crisis events can significantly affect a student’s ability to learn and function effectively. Many school crisis response models suggest that a quick return to normal rituals and routines can be helpful in coping with crises. The primary goal of crisis interventions is to help crisis-exposed students return to their basic abilities of problem-solving so the student can return to their pre-crisis level of functioning.

Consultation

Consultation is done through a problem solving method that will help the consultee function more independently without the intensive support of a school psychologist.

Social Justice

The three major elements that comprise social justice include equity, fairness, and respect. The concept of social justice includes all individuals having equal access to opportunities and resources. A major component behind social justice is the idea of being culturally aware and sensitive. American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) both have ethical principles and codes of conduct that present aspirational elements of social justice that school psychologists may abide by. Although ethical principles exist, there is federal legislation that acts accordingly to social justice. For example, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) address issues such as poverty and disability to promote the concept of social justice in schools.

Schools are becoming increasingly diverse with growing awareness of these differences. Cultural diversity factors that can be addressed through social justice practice include race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), religion, and sexual orientation. With the various elements that can impact a student’s education and become a source of discrimination, there is a greater call for the practice of social justice in schools. School psychologists that consider the framework of social justice know that injustices that low SES students face can sometimes be different when compared to high SES students.

Advocacy

A major role of school psychologists involves advocating and speaking up for individuals as needed. Advocacy can be done at district, regional, state, or national level. School psychologists advocate for students, parents, and caregivers.

Consultation and collaboration are key components of school psychology and advocacy. There may be times when school personnel may not agree with the school psychologist. Differing opinions can be problematic because a school psychologist advocates for what is in the best interest of the student. School psychologists and staff members can help facilitate awareness through courageous conversations.

Multicultural Competence

School psychologists offer many types of services in order to be multiculturally competent. Multicultural competence extends to race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and geographic region. Because the field of school psychology serves such a diverse range of students, maintaining representation for minority groups continues to be a priority. Despite such importance, history has seen an underrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) school psychologists. which may appear alarming given that the diversity of our youth continues to increase exponentially. Thus, current professionals in the field have prioritised the acquisition of CLD school psychologists. School psychologists are trained to use their skills, knowledge, and professional practices in promoting diversity and advocating for services for all students, families, teachers, and schools. School psychologists may also work with teachers and educators to provide an integrated multicultural education classroom and curriculum that allows more students to be represented in learning. Efforts to increase multicultural perspectives among school psychologists have been on the rise to account for the increased diversity within schools. Such efforts include establishing opportunities for individuals representative of minority groups to become school psychologists and implementing a diverse array of CLD training programmes within the field.

Education

In order to become a school psychologist, one must first learn about school psychology by successfully completing a graduate-level training programme. A B.A. or B.S. is not sufficient.

United States

School psychology training programs are housed in university schools of education or departments of psychology. School psychology programmes require courses, practica, and internships.

Degree Requirements

Specific degree requirements vary across training programmes. School psychology training programs offer masters-level (M.A., M.S., M.Ed.), specialist-level degrees (Ed.S., Psy.S., SSP, CAGS), and doctoral-level degrees (Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D.) degrees. Regardless of degree title, a supervised internship is the defining feature of graduate-level training that leads to certification to practice as a school psychologist.

Specialist-level training typically requires 3-4 years of graduate training including a 9-month (1200 hour) internship in a school setting.

Doctoral-level training programs typically require 5-7 years of graduate training. Requirements typically include more coursework in core psychology and professional psychology, more advanced statistics coursework, involvement in research endeavours, a doctoral dissertation, and a one-year (1500+ hour) internship (which may be in a school or other settings such as clinics or hospitals).

In the past, a master’s degree was considered the standard for practice in schools. As of 2017, the specialist-level degree is considered the entry-level degree in school psychology. Masters-level degrees in school psychology may lead to obtaining related credentials (such as Educational Diagnostician, School Psychological Examiner, School Psychometrist) in one or two states.

International

In the UK, the similar practice and study of School Psychology is more often termed Educational Psychology and requires a doctorate (in Educational Psychology) which then enables individuals to register and subsequently practice as a licensed educational psychologist.

Employment in the United States

In the United States, job prospects in school psychology are excellent. Across all disciplines of psychology, the abundance of opportunities is considered among the best for both specialist and doctoral level practitioners. They mostly work in schools. Other settings include clinics, hospitals, correctional facilities, universities, and independent practice.

Demographic Information

According to the NASP Research Committee, 74% of school psychologists are female with an average age of 46. In 2004-2005, average earnings for school practitioners ranged from $56,262 for those with a 180-day annual contract to $68,764 for school psychologists with a 220-day contract. In 2009-2010, average earnings for school practitioners ranged from $64,168 for those with a 180-day annual contract to $71,320 for school psychologists with a 200-day contract. For university faculty in school psychology, the salary estimate is $77,801.

Based on surveys performed by NASP in 2009-2010, it is shown that 90.7% of school psychologists are white, while minority races make up the remaining 9.3%. Of this remaining percentage, the next largest populations represented in school psychology, are African-Americans and Hispanics, at 3% and 3.4% respectively.

Shortages in the Field

There is a lack of trained school psychologists within the field. While jobs are available across the country, there are just not enough people to fill them.

Due to the low supply and high demand of school psychologists, being a school psychologist is very demanding. School psychologists may feel under pressure to supply adequate mental health and intervention services to the students in their care. Burnout is a risk of being a school psychologist.

Bilingual School Psychologists

Approximately 21% of school-age children ages 5-7 speak a language other than English. For this reason, there is an enormous demand for bilingual school psychologists in the United States. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) does not currently offer bilingual certification in the field. However, there are a number of professional training opportunities that bilingual LSSPs/School Psychologists can attend in order to prepare to adequately administer assessments. In addition, there are 7 NASP-Approved school psychology programs that offer a bilingual specialisation:

  • Brooklyn College-City University of New York- Specialist Level.
  • Gallaudet University- Specialist Level.
  • Queens College-City University of New York- Specialist Level.
  • San Diego State University- Specialist Level.
  • Texas State University- Specialist Level.
  • University of Colorado Denver- Doctoral Level.
  • Fordham University- Lincoln Centre – Doctoral Level.

New York and Illinois are the only two states that offer a bilingual credential for school psychologists.

International School Psychology

The role of a school psychologist in the United States and Canada may differ considerably from the role of a school psychologist elsewhere. Especially in the United States, the role of school psychologist has been closely linked to public law for education of students with disabilities. In most other nations, this is not the case. Despite this difference, many of the basic functions of a school psychologist, such as consultation, intervention, and assessment are shared by most school psychologists worldwide.

It is difficult to estimate the number of school psychologists worldwide. Recent surveys indicate there may be around 76,000 to 87,000 school psychologists practicing in 48 countries, including 32,300 in the United States and 3,500 in Canada. Following the United States, Turkey has the next largest estimated number of school psychologists (11,327), followed by Spain (3,600), and then both Canada and Japan (3,500 each).

Credentialing

In order to work as a school psychologist, one must first meet the state requirements. In most states (excluding Texas and Hawaii), a state education agency credentials school psychologists for practice in the schools.

The Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential offered by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The NCSP credential is an example of a non-practice credential as holding the NCSP does not make one eligible to provide services without first meeting the state requirements to work as a school psychologist.

State psychology boards (which may go by different names in each state) also offer credentials for school psychologists in some states. For example, Texas offers the LSSP credential which permits licensees to deliver school psychological services within public and private schools.

Subspecialisations

  • Paediatric School Psychology.
  • Systems Level Consultation.
  • School Based Mental Health.
  • Behavioural School Psychology.

Professional Organisations in the United States

  • National Association of School Psychologists.
  • American Psychological Association.

Journals

  • Psychology in the Schools.
  • School Psychology Quarterly.
  • School Psychology Review.
  • School Psychology Forum: Research in Practice.
  • School Psychology International.
  • Canadian Journal of School Psychology.
  • International Journal of School & Educational Psychology.
  • Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment.

What is Applied Psychology?

Introduction

Applied psychology is the use of psychological methods and findings of scientific psychology to solve practical problems of human and animal behaviour and experience.

Mental health, organisational psychology, business management, education, health, product design, ergonomics, and law are just a few of the areas that have been influenced by the application of psychological principles and findings. Some of the areas of applied psychology include clinical psychology, counselling psychology, evolutionary psychology, industrial and organisational psychology, legal psychology, neuropsychology, occupational health psychology, human factors, forensic psychology, engineering psychology, school psychology, sports psychology, traffic psychology, community psychology, and medical psychology. In addition, a number of specialised areas in the general field of psychology have applied branches (e.g. applied social psychology, applied cognitive psychology).

However, the lines between sub-branch specialisations and major applied psychology categories are often blurred. For example, a human factors psychologist might use a cognitive psychology theory. This could be described as human factor psychology or as applied cognitive psychology.

Brief History

The founder of applied psychology was Hugo Münsterberg. He came to America (Harvard) from Germany (Berlin, Laboratory of Stern), invited by William James, and, like many aspiring psychologists during the late 19th century, originally studied philosophy. Münsterberg had many interests in the field of psychology such as purposive psychology, social psychology and forensic psychology. In 1907 he wrote several magazine articles concerning legal aspects of testimony, confessions and courtroom procedures, which eventually developed into his book, On the Witness Stand. The following year the Division of Applied Psychology was adjoined to the Harvard Psychological Laboratory. Within 9 years he had contributed eight books in English, applying psychology to education, industrial efficiency, business and teaching. Eventually Hugo Münsterberg and his contributions would define him as the creator of applied psychology. In 1920, the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) was founded, as the first international scholarly society within the field of psychology.

Most professional psychologists in the US worked in an academic setting until World War II. But during the war, the armed forces and the Office of Strategic Services hired psychologists in droves to work on issues such as troop morale and propaganda design. After the war, psychologists found an expanding range of jobs outside of the academy. Since 1970, the number of college graduates with degrees in psychology has more than doubled, from 33,679 to 76,671 in 2002. The annual numbers of masters’ and PhD degrees have also increased dramatically over the same period. All the while, degrees in the related fields of economics, sociology, and political science have remained constant.

Professional organisations have organised special events and meetings to promote the idea of applied psychology. In 1990, the American Psychological Society held a Behavioural Science Summit and formed the “Human Capital Initiative”, spanning schools, workplace productivity, drugs, violence, and community health. The American Psychological Association declared 2000-2010 the Decade of Behaviour, with a similarly broad scope. Psychological methods are considered applicable to all aspects of human life and society.

Advertising

Business advertisers have long consulted psychologists in assessing what types of messages will most effectively induce a person to buy a particular product. Using the psychological research methods and the findings in human’s cognition, motivation, attitudes and decision making, those can help to design more persuasive advertisement. Their research includes the study of unconscious influences and brand loyalty. However, the effect of unconscious influences was controversial.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology includes the study and application of psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists may also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. Some clinical psychologists may focus on the clinical management of patients with brain injury – this area is known as clinical neuropsychology. In many countries clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.

The work performed by clinical psychologists tends to be done inside various therapy models, all of which involve a formal relationship between professional and client – usually an individual, couple, family, or small group – that employs a set of procedures intended to form a therapeutic alliance, explore the nature of psychological problems, and encourage new ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving. The four major perspectives are:

  1. Psychodynamic;
  2. Cognitive behavioural;
  3. Existential-humanistic; and
  4. Systems or family therapy.

There has been a growing movement to integrate these various therapeutic approaches, especially with an increased understanding of issues regarding ethnicity, gender, spirituality, and sexual-orientation. With the advent of more robust research findings regarding psychotherapy, there is growing evidence that most of the major therapies are about of equal effectiveness, with the key common element being a strong therapeutic alliance. Because of this, more training programmes and psychologists are now adopting an eclectic therapeutic orientation.

Clinical psychologists do not usually prescribe medication, although there is a growing number of psychologists who do have prescribing privileges, in the field of medical psychology. In general, however, when medication is warranted many psychologists will work in cooperation with psychiatrists so that clients get therapeutic needs met. Clinical psychologists may also work as part of a team with other professionals, such as social workers and nutritionists.

Counselling Psychology

Counselling psychology is an applied specialisation within psychology, that involves both research and practice in a number of different areas or domains. According to Gelso and Fretz (2001), there are some central unifying themes among counselling psychologists. These include a focus on an individual’s strengths, relationships, their educational and career development, as well as a focus on normal personalities. Counselling psychologists help people improve their well-being, reduce and manage stress, and improve overall functioning in their lives. The interventions used by Counselling Psychologists may be either brief or long-term in duration. Often they are problem focused and goal-directed. There is a guiding philosophy which places a value on individual differences and an emphasis on “prevention, development, and adjustment across the life-span.”

Educational Psychology

Educational psychology is devoted to the study of how humans learn in educational settings, especially schools. Psychologists assess the effects of specific educational interventions: e.g. phonics versus whole language instruction in early reading attainment. They also study the question of why learning occurs differently in different situations.

Another domain of educational psychology is the psychology of teaching. In some colleges, educational psychology courses are called “the psychology of learning and teaching”. Educational psychology derives a great deal from basic-science disciplines within psychology including cognitive science and behaviourally-oriented research on learning.

Environmental Psychology

Environmental psychology is the psychological study of humans and their interactions with their environments. The types of environments studied are limitless, ranging from homes, offices, classrooms, factories, nature, and so on. However, across these different environments, there are several common themes of study that emerge within each one. Noise level and ambient temperature are clearly present in all environments and often subjects of discussion for environmental psychologists. Crowding and stressors are a few other aspects of environments studied by this sub-discipline of psychology. When examining a particular environment, environmental psychology looks at the goals and purposes of the people in the using the environment, and tries to determine how well the environment is suiting the needs of the people using it. For example, a quiet environment is necessary for a classroom of students taking a test, but would not be needed or expected on a farm full of animals. The concepts and trends learned through environmental psychology can be used when setting up or rearranging spaces so that the space will best perform its intended function. The top common, more well known areas of psychology that drive this applied field include: cognitive, perception, learning, and social psychology.

Forensic Psychology and Legal Psychology

Forensic psychology and legal psychology are the areas concerned with the application of psychological methods and principles to legal questions and issues. Most typically, forensic psychology involves a clinical analysis of a particular individual and an assessment of some specific psycho-legal question. The psycho-legal question does not have to be criminal in nature. In fact, the forensic psychologist rarely gets involved in the actual criminal investigations. Custody cases are a great example of non-criminal evaluations by forensic psychologists. The validity and upholding of eyewitness testimony is an area of forensic psychology that does veer closer to criminal investigations, though does not directly involve the psychologist in the investigation process. Psychologists are often called to testify as expert witnesses on issues such as the accuracy of memory, the reliability of police interrogation, and the appropriate course of action in child custody cases.

Legal psychology refers to any application of psychological principles, methods or understanding to legal questions or issues. In addition to the applied practices, legal psychology also includes academic or empirical research on topics involving the relationship of law to human mental processes and behaviour. However, inherent differences that arise when placing psychology in the legal context. Psychology rarely makes absolute statements. Instead, psychologists traffic in the terms like level of confidence, percentages, and significance. Legal matters, on the other hand, look for absolutes: guilty or not guilty. This makes for a sticky union between psychology and the legal system. Some universities operate dual JD/PhD programmes focusing on the intersection of these two areas.

The Committee on Legal Issues of the American Psychological Association is known to file amicus curae briefs (someone who is not a party to a case who assists a court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case), as applications of psychological knowledge to high-profile court cases.

A related field, police psychology, involves consultation with police departments and participation in police training.

Health and Medicine

Health psychology concerns itself with understanding how biology, behaviour, and social context influence health and illness. Health psychologists generally work alongside other medical professionals in clinical settings, although many also teach and conduct research. Although its early beginnings can be traced to the kindred field of clinical psychology, four different approaches to health psychology have been defined: clinical, public health, community and critical health psychology.

Health psychologists aim to change health behaviours for the dual purpose of helping people stay healthy and helping patients adhere to disease treatment regimens. The focus of health psychologists tend to centre on the health crisis facing the western world particularly in the US. Cognitive behavioural therapy and behaviour modification are techniques often employed by health psychologists. Psychologists also study patients’ compliance with their doctors’ orders.

Health psychologists view a person’s mental condition as heavily related to their physical condition. An important concept in this field is stress, a mental phenomenon with well-known consequences for physical health.

Medical

Medical psychology involves the application of a range of psychological principles, theories and findings applied to the effective management of physical and mental disorders to improve the psychological and physical health of the patient. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines medical psychology as the branch of psychology that integrates somatic and psychotherapeutic modalities, into the management of mental illness, health rehabilitation and emotional, cognitive, behavioural and substance use disorders. According to Muse and Moore (2012), the medical psychologist’s contributions in the areas of psychopharmacology which sets it apart from other of psychotherapy and psychotherapists.

Occupational Health Psychology

Occupational health psychology (OHP) is a relatively new discipline that emerged from the confluence of health psychology, industrial and organisational psychology, and occupational health. OHP has its own journals and professional organisations. The field is concerned with identifying psychosocial characteristics of workplaces that give rise to health-related problems in people who work. These problems can involve physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease) or mental health (e.g. depression). Examples of psychosocial characteristics of workplaces that OHP has investigated include amount of decision latitude a worker can exercise and the supportiveness of supervisors. OHP is also concerned with the development and implementation of interventions that can prevent or ameliorate work-related health problems. In addition, OHP research has important implications for the economic success of organisations. Other research areas of concern to OHP include workplace incivility and violence, work-home carryover, unemployment and downsizing, and workplace safety and accident prevention. Two important OHP journals are the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and Work & Stress. Three important organisations closely associated with OHP are the International Commission on Occupational Health’s Scientific Committee on Work Organisation and Psychosocial Factors (ICOH-WOPS), the Society for Occupational Health Psychology, and the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology.

Human Factors and Ergonomics

Human factors and ergonomics (HF&E) is the study of how cognitive and psychological processes affect our interaction with tools, machines, and objects in the environment. Many branches of psychology attempt to create models of and understand human behaviour. These models are usually based on data collected from experiments. Human Factor psychologists however, take the same data and use it to design or adapt processes and objects that will complement the human component of the equation. Rather than humans learning how to use and manipulate a piece of technology, human factors strives to design technology to be inline with the human behaviour models designed by general psychology. This could be accounting for physical limitations of humans, as in ergonomics, or designing systems, especially computer systems, that work intuitively with humans, as does engineering psychology.

Ergonomics is applied primarily through office work and the transportation industry. Psychologists here take into account the physical limitations of the human body and attempt to reduce fatigue and stress by designing products and systems that work within the natural limitations of the human body. From simple things like the size of buttons and design of office chairs to layout of airplane cockpits, human factor psychologists, specializing in ergonomics, attempt to de-stress our everyday lives and sometimes even save them.

Human factor psychologists specialising in engineering psychology tend to take on slightly different projects than their ergonomic centred counterparts. These psychologists look at how a human and a process interact. Often engineering psychology may be centred on computers. However at the base level, a process is simply a series of inputs and outputs between a human and a machine. The human must have a clear method to input data and be able to easily access the information in output. The inability of rapid and accurate corrections can sometimes lead to drastic consequences, as summed up by many stories in Set Phasers on Stun. The engineering psychologists wants to make the process of inputs and outputs as intuitive as possible for the user.

The goal of research in human factors is to understand the limitations and biases of human mental processes and behaviour, and design items and systems that will interact accordingly with the limitations. Some may see human factors as intuitive or a list of dos and don’ts, but in reality, human factor research strives to make sense of large piles of data to bring precise applications to product designs and systems to help people work more naturally, intuitively with the items of their surroundings.

Industrial and Organisational Psychology

Industrial and organisational psychology, or I-O psychology, focuses on the psychology of work. Relevant topics within I-O psychology include the psychology of recruitment, selecting employees from an applicant pool, training, performance appraisal, job satisfaction, work motivation. work behaviour, occupational stress, accident prevention, occupational safety and health, management, retirement planning and unemployment among many other issues related to the workplace and people’s work lives. In short, I-O psychology is the application of psychology to the workplace. One aspect of this field is job analysis, the detailed study of which behaviours a given job entails.

Though the name of the title “Industrial Organisational Psychology” implies 2 split disciplines being chained together, it is near impossible to have one half without the other. If asked to generally define the differences, Industrial psychology focuses more on the Human Resources aspects of the field, and organisational psychology focuses more on the personal interactions of the employees. When applying these principles however, they are not easily broken apart. For example, when developing requirements for a new job position, the recruiters are looking for an applicant with strong communication skills in multiple areas. The developing of the position requirements falls under the industrial psychology, human resource type work. and the requirement of communication skills is related to how the employee with interacts with co-workers. As seen here, it is hard to separate task of developing a qualifications list from the types of qualifications on the list. This is parallel to how the I and O are nearly inseparable in practice. Therefore, I-O psychologists are generally rounded in both industrial and organisational psychology though they will have some specialisation. Other topics of interest for I-O psychologists include performance evaluation, training, and much more.

Military psychology includes research into the classification, training, and performance of soldiers

School Psychology

School psychology is a field that applies principles of clinical psychology and educational psychology to the diagnosis and treatment of students’ behavioural and learning problems. School psychologists are educated in child and adolescent development, learning theories, psychological and psycho-educational assessment, personality theories, therapeutic interventions, special education, psychology, consultation, child and adolescent psychopathology, and the ethical, legal and administrative codes of their profession.

According to Division 16 (Division of School Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA), school psychologists operate according to a scientific framework. They work to promote effectiveness and efficiency in the field. School psychologists conduct psychological assessments, provide brief interventions, and develop or help develop prevention programmes. Additionally, they evaluate services with special focus on developmental processes of children within the school system, and other systems, such as families. School psychologists consult with teachers, parents, and school personnel about learning, behavioural, social, and emotional problems. They may teach lessons on parenting skills (like school counsellors), learning strategies, and other skills related to school mental health. In addition, they explain test results to parents and students. They provide individual, group, and in some cases family counselling. School psychologists are actively involved in district and school crisis intervention teams. They also supervise graduate students in school psychology. School psychologists in many districts provide professional development to teachers and other school personnel on topics such as positive behaviour intervention plans and achievement tests.

One salient application for school psychology in today’s world is responding to the unique challenges of increasingly multicultural classrooms. For example, psychologists can contribute insight about the differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures.

School psychologists are influential within the school system and are frequently consulted to solve problems. Practitioners should be able to provide consultation and collaborate with other members of the educational community and confidently make decisions based on empirical research.

Social Change

Psychologists have been employed to promote “green” behaviour, i.e. sustainable development. In this case, their goal is behaviour modification, through strategies such as social marketing. Tactics include education, disseminating information, organising social movements, passing laws, and altering taxes to influence decisions.

Psychology has been applied on a world scale with the aim of population control. For example, one strategy towards television programming combines social models in a soap opera with informational messages during advertising time. This strategy successfully increased women’s enrolment at family planning clinics in Mexico. The programming – which has been deployed around the world by Population Communications International and the Population Media Centre – combines family planning messages with representations of female education and literacy.

Sport Psychology

Sport psychology is a specialisation within psychology that seeks to understand psychological/mental factors that affect performance in sports, physical activity and exercise and apply these to enhance individual and team performance. The sport psychology approach differs from the coaches and players perspective. Coaches tend to narrow their focus and energy towards the end-goal. They are concerned with the actions that lead to the win, as opposed to the sport psychologist who tries to focus the players thoughts on just achieving the win. Sport psychology trains players mentally to prepare them, whereas coaches tend to focus mostly on physical training. Sport psychology deals with increasing performance by managing emotions and minimising the psychological effects of injury and poor performance. Some of the most important skills taught are goal setting, relaxation, visualisation, self-talk awareness and control, concentration, using rituals, attribution training, and periodisation. The principles and theories may be applied to any human movement or performance tasks (e.g. playing a musical instrument, acting in a play, public speaking, motor skills). Usually, experts recommend that students be trained in both kinesiology (i.e. sport and exercise sciences, physical education) and counselling.

Traffic Psychology

Traffic psychology is an applied discipline within psychology that looks at the relationship between psychological processes and cognitions and the actual behaviour of road users. In general, traffic psychologists attempt to apply these principles and research findings, in order to provide solutions to problems such as traffic mobility and congestion, road accidents, speeding. Research psychologists also are involved with the education and the motivation of road users.

What was the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society?

Introduction

The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (German: Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, WPV), formerly known as the Wednesday Psychological Society, is the oldest psychoanalysis society in the world.

In 1908, reflecting its growing institutional status as the international psychoanalytic authority of the time, the Wednesday group was reconstituted under its new name with Sigmund Freud as President, a position he relinquished in 1910 in favour of Alfred Adler.

During its 36-year history, between 1902 and 1938, the Society had a total of 150 members.

First Meetings

In November 1902, Sigmund Freud wrote to Alfred Adler, “A small circle of colleagues and supporters afford me the great pleasure of coming to my house in the evening (8:30 PM after dinner) to discuss interesting topics in psychology and neuropathology… Would you be so kind as to join us?” The group included Wilhelm Stekel, Max Kahane and Rudolf Reitler, soon joined by Adler. Stekel, a Viennese physician who had been in analysis with Freud, provided the initial impetus for the meetings. Freud made sure that each participant would contribute to the discussion by drawing names from an urn and asking each to address the chosen topic.

New members were invited only with the consent of the entire group, and only a few dropped out. By 1906, the group, then called the Wednesday Psychological Society, included 17 doctors, analysts and laymen. Otto Rank was hired that year to collect dues and keep written records of the increasingly complex discussions. Each meeting included the presentation of a paper or case history with discussion and a final summary by Freud. Some of the members presented detailed histories of their own psychological and sexual development.

Active Years

As the meetings grew to include more of the original contributors to psychoanalysis, analytic frankness sometimes became an excuse for personal attacks. In 1908 Max Graf, whose five-year-old son had been an early topic of discussion as Freud’s famous “Little Hans” case, deplored the disappearance of congeniality. There were still discussions from which important insights could be gleaned, but many became acrimonious. Many members wanted to abolish the tradition that new ideas discussed at the meetings were credited to the group as a whole, not the original contributor of the idea. Freud proposed that each member should have a choice, to have his comments regarded as his own intellectual property, or to put them in the public domain.

In an attempt to resolve some of the disputes, Freud officially dissolved the informal group and formed a new group under the name Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. On the suggestion of Alfred Adler, the election of new members was based on secret ballot rather than Freud’s invitation. Although the structure of the group became more democratic, the discussions lost some of their original eclectic character as the identity of the group developed. The psychosexual theories of Freud became the primary focus of the participants.

After the end of World War I, the membership became more homogeneous, and the proportion of members identifying as Jewish increased. Over the course of the 36 years of its existence (until 1938), the Society registered a total of 150 members. Most members were Jewish, and 50 were (like Freud himself) children of Jewish immigrants from other Habsburg states.

Prominent Members

  • Sigmund Freud.
  • Alfred Adler.
  • Wilhelm Reich.
  • Otto Rank.
  • Karl Abraham.
  • Carl Jung.
  • Sándor Ferenczi.
  • Guido Holzknecht.
  • Isidor Isaak Sadger.
  • Victor Tausk.
  • Hanns Sachs.
  • Ludwig Binswanger.
  • Carl Alfred Meier.
  • Sabina Spielrein.
  • Margarete Hilferding.
  • Herbert Silberer.
  • Paul Schilder.

What is Analytical Psychology?

Introduction

Analytical psychology (German: Analytische Psychologie, sometimes translated as analytic psychology and referred to as Jungian analysis) is a term coined by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, to describe research into his new “empirical science” of the psyche.

It was designed to distinguish it from Freud’s psychoanalytic theories as their seven-year collaboration on psychoanalysis was drawing to an end between 1912 and 1913. The evolution of his science is contained in his monumental opus, the Collected Works, written over sixty years of his lifetime.

The history of analytical psychology is intimately linked with the biography of Jung. At the start, it was known as the “Zurich school”, whose chief figures were Eugen Bleuler, Franz Riklin, Alphonse Maeder and Jung, all centred in the Burghölzli hospital in Zurich. It was initially a theory concerning psychological complexes until Jung, upon breaking with Sigmund Freud, turned it into a generalised method of investigating archetypes and the unconscious, as well as into a specialised psychotherapy.

Analytical psychology, or “complex psychology”, from the German: Komplexe Psychologie, is the foundation of many developments in the study and practice of Psychology as of other disciplines. The followers of Jung are many, and some of them are members of national societies in diverse countries around the world. They collaborate professionally on an international level through the International Association of Analytical Psychologists (IAAP) and the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS). Jung’s propositions have given rise to a rich and multidisciplinary literature in numerous languages.

Among widely used concepts owed specifically to Analytical psychology are: anima and animus, archetypes, the collective unconscious, complexes, extraversion and introversion, individuation, the Self, the shadow and synchronicity. The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on another of Jung’s theories on psychological types. A lesser known idea was Jung’s notion of the Psychoid to denote a hypothesised immanent plane beyond consciousness, distinct from the collective unconscious, and a potential locus of synchronicity.

The approximately “three schools” of post-Jungian analytical psychology that are current, the classical, archetypal and developmental, can be said to correspond to the developing yet overlapping aspects of Jung’s lifelong explorations, even if he expressly did not want to start a school of “Jungians”. Hence as Jung proceeded from a clinical practice which was mainly traditionally science-based and steeped in rationalist philosophy, anthropology and ethnography, his enquiring mind simultaneously took him into more esoteric spheres such as alchemy, astrology, gnosticism, metaphysics, myth and the paranormal, without ever abandoning his allegiance to science as his long-lasting collaboration with Wolfgang Pauli attests. His wide-ranging progression suggests to some commentators that, over time, his analytical psychotherapy, informed by his intuition and teleological investigations, became more of an “art”.

The findings of Jungian analysis and the application of analytical psychology to contemporary preoccupations such as social and family relationships, dreams and nightmares, work-life balance, architecture and urban planning, politics and economics, conflict and warfare, and climate change are illustrated in a growing number of publications and films.

Background

Jung began his career as a psychiatrist in Zürich, Switzerland. Already employed at the Burghölzli hospital in 1901, in his academic dissertation for the medical faculty of the University of Zurich he took the risk of using his experiments on somnambulism and the visions of his mediumistic cousin, Helly Preiswerk. The work was entitled, “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena”. It was accepted but caused great upset among his mother’s family. Under the direction of psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, he also conducted research with his colleagues using a galvanometer to evaluate the emotional sensitivities of patients to lists of words during word association. Jung has left a description of his use of the device in treatment. His research earned him a worldwide reputation and numerous honours, including Honorary Doctorates from Clark and Fordham Universities in 1909 and 1910 respectively. Other honours followed later.

Although they began corresponding a year earlier, in 1907 Jung travelled to meet Sigmund Freud in Vienna, Austria. At that stage, Jung, aged thirty-two, had a much greater international renown than the forty-nine year old neurologist. For a further six years, the two scholars worked and travelled to the United States together. In 1911, they founded the International Psychoanalytical Association, of which Jung was the first president. However, early in the collaboration, Jung had already observed that Freud would not tolerate ideas that were different from his own.

Unlike most modern psychologists, Jung did not believe in restricting himself to the scientific method as a means to understanding the human psyche. He saw dreams, myths, coincidence and folklore as empirical evidence to further understanding and meaning. So although the unconscious cannot be studied by using direct methods, it acts as a useful working hypothesis, according to Jung. As he said, “The beauty about the unconscious is that it is really unconscious.” Hence, the unconscious is ‘untouchable’ by experimental researches, or indeed any possible kind of scientific or philosophical reach, precisely because it is unconscious.

The Break with Freud

It was the publication of a book by Jung which provoked the break with psychoanalysis and led to the founding of analytical psychology. In 1912 Jung met “Miss Miller”, brought to his notice by the work of Théodore Flournoy and whose case gave further substance to his theory of the collective unconscious. The study of her visions supplied the material which would go on to furnish his reasoning which he developed in Psychology of the Unconscious (Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido) (re-published as Symbols of Transformation in 1952) (C.W. Vol. 5). At this, Freud muttered about “heresy”. It was the second part of the work that brought the divergence to light. Freud mentioned to Ernest Jones that it was on page 174 of the original German edition, that Jung, according to him, had “lost his way”. It is the extract where Jung enlarged on his conception of the libido. The sanction was immediate: Jung was officially banned from the Vienna psychoanalytic circle from August 1912. From that date the psychoanalytic movement split into two obediences, with Freud’s partisans on one side, Karl Abraham being delegated to write a critical notice about Jung, and with Ernest Jones as defender of Freudian orthodoxy; while on the other side, were Jung’s partisans, including Leonhard Seif, Franz Riklin, Johan van Ophuijsen and Alphonse Maeder.

Jung’s innovative ideas with a new formulation of psychology and lack of contrition sealed the end of the Jung-Freud friendship in 1913. From then, the two scholars worked independently on personality development: Jung had already termed his approach analytical psychology (1912), while the approach Freud had founded is referred to as the Psychoanalytic School, (psychoanalytische Schule).

Jung’s postulated unconscious was quite different from the model proposed by Freud, despite the great influence that the founder of psychoanalysis had had on him. In particular, tensions manifested between him and Freud because of various disagreements, including those concerning the nature of the libido. Jung de-emphasized the importance of sexual development as an instinctual drive and focused on the collective unconscious: the part of the unconscious that contains memories and ideas which Jung believed were inherited from generations of ancestors. While he accepted that libido was an important source for personal growth, unlike Freud, Jung did not consider that libido alone was responsible for the formation of the core personality. Due to the particular hardships Jung had endured growing up, he believed his personal development and that of everyone was influenced by factors unrelated to sexuality.

The overarching aim in life, according to Jungian psychology, is the fullest possible actualisation of the “Self” through individuation. Jung defines the “self” as “not only the centre but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the centre of the conscious mind”. Central to this process of individuation is the individual’s continual encounter with the elements of the psyche by bringing them into consciousness. People experience the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas enacted in relationships and life pursuits. Essential to the process is the merging of the individual’s consciousness with the collective unconscious through a huge range of symbols. By bringing conscious awareness to bear on what is unconscious, such elements can be integrated with consciousness when they “surface”. To proceed with the individuation process, individuals need to be open to the parts of themselves beyond their own ego, which is the “organ” of consciousness. In a famous dictum, Jung said, “the Self, like the unconscious is an a priori existent out of which the ego evolves. It is … an unconscious prefiguration of the ego. It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself’.

It follows that the aim of (Jungian) psychotherapy is to assist the individual to establish a healthy relationship with the unconscious so that it is neither excessively out of balance in relation to it, as in neurosis, a state that can result in depression, anxiety, and personality disorders or so flooded by it that it risks psychosis resulting in mental breakdown. One method Jung applied to his patients between 1913 and 1916 was active imagination, a way of encouraging them to give themselves over to a form of meditation to release apparently random images from the mind in order to bridge unconscious contents into awareness.

“Neurosis” in Jung’s view results from the build up of psychological defences the individual unconsciously musters in an effort to cope with perceived attacks from the outside world, a process he called a “complex”, although complexes are not merely defensive in character. The psyche is a self-regulating adaptive system. People are energetic systems, and if the energy is blocked, the psyche becomes sick. If adaptation is thwarted, the psychic energy stops flowing and becomes rigid. This process manifests in neurosis and psychosis. Jung proposed that this occurs through maladaptation of one’s internal realities to external ones. The principles of adaptation, projection, and compensation are central processes in Jung’s view of psyche’s attempts to adapt.

Innovations of Jungian Analysis

Philosophical and Epistemological Foundations

Philosophy

Jung was an adept principally of the American philosopher William James, founder of pragmatism, whom he met during his trip to the United States in 1909. He also encountered other figures associated with James, such as John Dewey and the anthropologist, Franz Boas. Pragmatism was Jung’s favoured route to base his psychology on a sound scientific basis according to historian Sonu Shamdasani. His theories consist of observations of phenomena, and according to Jung it is phenomenology. In his view psychologism was suspect.

Displacement into the conceptual deprives experience of its substance and the possibility of being simply named.

Throughout his writings, Jung sees in empirical observation not only a precondition of an objective method but also respect for an ethical code which should guide the psychologist, as he stated in a letter to Joseph Goldbrunner:

I consider it a moral obligation not to make assertions about things one cannot see or whose existence cannot be proved, and I consider it an abuse of epistemological power to do so regardless. These rules apply to all experimental science. Other rules apply to metaphysics. I regard myself as answerable to the rules of experimental science. As a result nowhere in my work are there any metaphysical assertions nor – nota bene – any negations of a metaphysical nature.

According to the Italo-French psychoanalyst Luigi Aurigemma, Jung’s reasoning is also marked by Immanuel Kant, and more generally by German rationalist philosophy. His lectures are evidence of his assimilation of Kantian thought, especially the Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. Aurigemma caracterises Jung’s thinking as “epistemological relativism” because it does not postulate any belief in the metaphysical. In fact, Jung uses Kant’s teleology to bridle his thinking and to guard himself from straying into any metaphysical excursions. On the other hand, for French historian of psychology, Françoise Parot, contrary to the alleged rationalist vein, Jung is “heir” to mystics, (Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, or Augustine of Hippo) and to the romantics be they scientists, such as Carl Gustav Carus or Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert in particular, or to philosophers and writers, along the lines of Nietzsche, Goethe, and Schopenhauer, in the way he conceptualised the unconscious in particular. Whereas his typology is profoundly dependent on Carl Spitteler.

Scientific Heritage

As a trained psychiatrist, Jung had a grounding in the state of science in his day. He regularly refers to the experimental psychology of Wilhelm Wundt. His Word Association Test designed with Franz Riklin is actually the direct application of Wundt’s theory. Notwithstanding the great debt of analytical psychology to Sigmund Freud, Jung borrowed concepts from other theories of his time. For instance, the expression “abaissement du niveau mental” comes directly from the French psychologist Pierre Janet whose courses Jung attended during his studies in France, during 1901. Jung had always acknowledged how much Janet had influenced his career.

Jung’s use of the concept of “participation mystique” is owed to the French ethnologist Lucien Lévy-Bruhl:

What Rousseau describes is nothing other than the primitive collective mentality which Lucien Lévy-Bruhl has brilliantly called “participation mystique”

which he uses to illustrate the surprising fact, to him, that some native peoples can experience relations that defy logic, as for instance in the case of the South American tribe, whom he met during his travels, where the men pretended they were scarlet aras birds. Finally, his use of the English expression, “pattern of behaviour”, which is synonymous with the term archetype, is drawn from British studies in ethology.

The principal contribution to analytical psychology, nevertheless, remains that of Freud’s psychoanalysis, from which Jung took a number of concepts, especially the method of inquiring into the unconscious through free association. Individual analysts’ thinking was also integrated into his project, among whom are Sándor Ferenczi (Jung refers to his notion of “affect”) or Ludwig Binswanger and his Daseinsanalyse [de], (Daseinsanalysis). Jung affirms also Freud’s contribution to our knowledge of the psyche as being, without doubt, of the highest importance. It reveals penetrating information about the dark corners of the soul and of the human personality, which is of the same order as Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality (1887). In this context, Freud was, according to Jung, one of the great cultural critics of the XIXth century.

Divergences from Psychoanalysis

Jungian Analysis, as is psychoanalysis, is a method to access, experience and integrate unconscious material into awareness. It is a search for the meaning of behaviours, feelings and events. Many are the channels to extend knowledge of the self: the analysis of dreams is one important avenue. Others may include expressing feelings about and through art, poetry or other expressions of creativity, the examination of conflicts and repeating patterns in a person’s life. A comprehensive description of the process of dream interpretation is complex, in that it is highly specific to the person who undertakes it. Most succinctly it relies on the associations which the particular dream symbols suggest to the dreamer, which at times may be deemed “archetypal” in so far as they are supposed common to many people throughout history. Examples could be a hero, an old man or woman, situations of pursuit, flying or falling.

Whereas (Freudian) psychoanalysis relies entirely on the development of the transference in the analysand (the person under treatment) to the analyst, Jung initially used the transference and later concentrated more on a dialectical and didactic approach to the symbolic and archetypal material presented by the patient. Moreover his attitude towards patients departed from what he had observed in Freud’s method. Anthony Stevens has explained it thus:

Though [Jung’s] initial formulations arose mainly out of his own creative illness, they were also a conscious reaction against the stereotype of the classical Freudian analyst, sitting silent and aloof behind the couch, occasionally emitting ex cathedra pronouncements and interpretations, while remaining totally uninvolved in the patient’s guilt, anguish, and need for reassurance and support. Instead, Jung offered the radical proposal that analysis is a dialectical procedure, a two-way exchange between two people, who are equally involved. Although it was a revolutionary idea when he first suggested it, it is a model which has influenced psychotherapists of most schools, though many seem not to realise that it originated with Jung.

In place of Freud’s “surgical detachment”, Jung demonstrated a more relaxed and warmer welcome in the consulting room. He remained aware nonetheless that exposure to a patient’s unconscious contents always posed a certain risk of contagion (he calls it “psychic infection”) to the analyst, as experienced in the countertransference. The process of contemporary Jungian analysis depends on the type of “school of analytical psychology” to which the therapist adheres, (see below). The “Zurich School” would reflect the approach Jung himself taught, while those influenced by Michael Fordham and associates in London, would be significantly closer to a Kleinian approach and therefore, concerned with analysis of the transference and countertransference as indicators of repressed material along with the attendant symbols and patterns.

Dream Work

Jung’s preoccupation with dreams can be dated from 1902. It was only after the break with Freud that he published in 1916 his “Psychology of the Unconscious” where he elaborated his view of dreams, which contrasts sharply with Freud’s conceptualisation. While he agrees that dreams are a highway into the unconscious, he enlarges on their functions further than psychoanalysis did. One of the salient differences is the compensatory function they perform by reinstating psychic equilibrium in respect of judgements made during waking life: thus a man consumed by ambition and arrogance may, for example, dream about himself as small and vulnerable person.

According to Jung, this demonstrates that the man’s attitude is excessively self-assured and thereby refuses to integrate the inferior aspects of his personality, which are denied by his defensive arrogance. Jung calls this a compensation mechanism, necessary for the maintenance of a healthy mental balance. Shortly before his death in 1961, he wrote:

In order to secure mental and even physiological stability, it is necessary that the conscious and unconscious should be integrated one with the other. This is so that they evolve in parallel. (Pour sauvegarder la stabilité mentale, et même physiologique, il faut que la conscience et l’inconscient soient intégralement reliés, afin d’évoluer parallèlement).

Unconscious material is expressed in images through the deployment of symbolism which, in Jungian terms, means it has an affective role (in that it can sometimes give rise to a numinous feeling, when associated with an archetypal force) and an intellectual role. Some dreams are personal to the dreamer, others may be collective in origin or “transpersonal” in so far as they relate to existential events. They can be taken to express phases of the individuation process (see below) and may be inspired by literature, art, alchemy or mythology. Analytical psychology is recognised for its historical and geographical study of myths as a means to deconstruct, with the aid of symbols, the unconscious manifestations of the psyche. Myths are said to represent directly the elements and phenomena arising from the collective unconscious and though they may be subject to alteration in their detail through time, their significance remains similar. While Jung relies predominantly on christian or on Western pagan mythology (Ancient Greece and Rome), he holds that the unconscious is driven by mythologies derived from all cultures. He evinced an interest in Hinduism, in Zoroastrianism and Taoism, which all share fundamental images reflected in the psyche. Thus analytical psychology focusses on meaning, based on the hypothesis that human beings are potentially in constant touch with universal and symbolic aspects common to humankind. In the words of André Nataf:

Jung opens psychoanalysis to a dimension currently obscured by the prevailing scientism: spirituality. His contribution, though questionable in certain respects, remains unique. His explorations of the unconscious carried out both as a scientist and a poet, indicate that it is structured as a language but one which is in a mythical mode. (Jung ouvre la psychanalyse à une dimension cachée par le scientisme ambiant : la spiritualité. Son apport, quoique contestable sur certains points, reste unique. Explorant l’inconscient en scientifique et poète, il montre que celui-ci se structure non comme une langue mais sur le mode du mythe).

Principal Concepts

In analytical psychology two distinct types of psychological process may be identified: that deriving from the individual, characterised as “personal”, belonging to a subjective psyche, and that deriving from the collective, linked to the structure of an objective psyche, which may be termed “transpersonal”. These processes are both said to be archetypal. Some of these processes are regarded as specifically linked to consciousness, such as the animus or anima, the persona or the shadow. Others pertain more to the collective sphere. Jung tended to personify the anima and animus as they are, according to him, always attached to a person and represent an aspect of his or her psyche.

Anima and Animus

Jung identified the archetypal anima as being the unconscious feminine component of men and the archetypal animus as the unconscious masculine component in women. These are shaped by the contents of the collective unconscious, by others, and by the larger society. However, many modern-day Jungian practitioners do not ascribe to a literal definition, citing that the Jungian concept points to every person having both an anima and an animus. Jung considered, for instance, an “animus of the anima” in men, in his work Aion and in an interview in which he says:

“Yes, if a man realizes the animus of his anima, then the animus is a substitute for the old wise man. You see, his ego is in relation to the unconscious, and the unconscious is personified by a female figure, the anima. But in the unconscious is also a masculine figure, the wise old man. And that figure is in connection with the anima as her animus, because she is a woman. So, one could say the wise old man was in exactly the same position as the animus to a woman.”

Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological growth. Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day.

In cases where the anima or animus complexes are ignored, they vie for attention by projecting itself on others. This explains, according to Jung, why we are sometimes immediately attracted to certain strangers: we see our anima or animus in them. Love at first sight is an example of anima and animus projection. Moreover, people who strongly identify with their gender role (e.g. a man who acts aggressively and never cries) have not actively recognised or engaged their anima or animus.

Jung attributes human rational thought to be the male nature, while the irrational aspect is considered to be natural female (rational being defined as involving judgment, irrational being defined as involving perceptions). Consequently, irrational moods are the progenies of the male anima shadow and irrational opinions of the female animus shadow.

Archetypes

The use of archetypes in psychology was advanced by Jung in an essay entitled “Instinct and the Unconscious” in 1919. The first element in Greek ‘arche’ signifies ‘beginning, origin, cause, primal source principle’, by extension it can signify ‘position of a leader, supreme rule and government’. The second element ‘type’ means ‘blow or what is produced by a blow, the imprint of a coin …form, image, prototype, model, order, and norm’, …in the figurative, modern sense, ‘pattern underlying form, primordial form’. In his psychological framework, archetypes are innate, universal or personal prototypes for ideas and may be used to interpret observations. The method he favoured was hermeneutics which was central in his practice of psychology from the start. He made explicit references to hermeneutics in the Collected Works and during his theoretical development of the notion of archetypes. Although he lacks consistency in his formulations, his theoretical development of archetypes is rich in hermeneutic implications. As noted by Smythe and Baydala (2012):

his notion of the archetype as such can be understood hermeneutically as a form of non-conceptual background understanding.

A group of memories and attitudes associated with an archetype can become a complex, e.g. a mother complex may be associated with a particular mother archetype. Jung treated the archetypes as psychological organs, analogous to physical ones in that both are morphological givens which probably arose through evolution.

Archetypes have been regarded as collective as well as individual, and identifiable in a variety of creative ways. As an example, in his book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung states that he began to see and talk to a manifestation of anima and that she taught him how to interpret dreams. As soon as he could interpret on his own, Jung said that she ceased talking to him because she was no longer needed. However, the essentialism inherent in archetypal theory in general and concerning the anima, in particular, has called for a re‐evaluation of Jung’s theory in terms of emergence theory. This would emphasise the role of symbols in the construction of affect in the midst of collective human action. In such a reconfiguration, the visceral energy of a numinous experience can be retained while the problematic theory of archetypes has outlived its usefulness.

Collective Unconscious

Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious has undergone re-interpretation over time. The term “collective unconscious” first appeared in Jung’s 1916 essay, “The Structure of the Unconscious”. This essay distinguishes between the “personal”, Freudian unconscious, filled with fantasies (e.g. sexual) and repressed images, and the “collective” unconscious encompassing the soul of humanity at large.

In “The Significance of Constitution and Heredity in Psychology” (November 1929), Jung wrote:

And the essential thing, psychologically, is that in dreams, fantasies, and other exceptional states of mind the most far-fetched mythological motifs and symbols can appear autochthonously at any time, often, apparently, as the result of particular influences, traditions, and excitations working on the individual, but more often without any sign of them. These “primordial images” or “archetypes,” as I have called them, belong to the basic stock of the unconscious psyche and cannot be explained as personal acquisitions. Together they make up that psychic stratum which has been called the collective unconscious. The existence of the collective unconscious means that individual consciousness is anything but a tabula rasa and is not immune to predetermining influences. On the contrary, it is in the highest degree influenced by inherited presuppositions, quite apart from the unavoidable influences exerted upon it by the environment. The collective unconscious comprises in itself the psychic life of our ancestors right back to the earliest beginnings. It is the matrix of all conscious psychic occurrences, and hence it exerts an influence that compromises the freedom of consciousness in the highest degree, since it is continually striving to lead all conscious processes back into the old paths.

Given that in his day he lacked the advances of complexity theory and especially complex adaptive systems (CAS), it has been argued that his vision of archetypes as a stratum in the collective unconscious, corresponds to nodal patterns in the collective unconscious which go on to shape the characteristic patterns of human imagination and experience and in that sense, “seems a remarkable, intuitive articulation of the CAS model”.

Individuation

Individuation is a complex process that involves going through different stages of growing awareness through the progressive confrontation and integration of personal unconscious elements. This is the central concept of analytical psychology first introduced in 1916. It is the objective of Jungian psychotherapy to the extent that it enables the realisation of the Self. As Jung stated:

The aim of individuation is nothing less than to divest the self of the false wrappings of the persona, on the one hand and the suggestive power of primordial images on the other.

Jung started experimenting with individuation after his split with Freud as he confronted what was described as eruptions from the collective unconscious driven by a contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation. According to Jung, individuation means becoming an individual and implies becoming one’s own self. Unlike individuality, which emphasizes some supposed peculiarity, Jung described individuation as a better and more complete fulfilment of the collective qualities of the human being. In his experience, Jung explained that individuation helped him, “from the therapeutic point of view, to find the particular images that lie behind emotions”.

Individuation is from the first what the analysand must undergo, in order to integrate the other elements of the psyche. This pursuit of wholeness aims to establish the Self, which include both the rational conscious mind of the ego and the irrational contents of the unconscious, as the new personality centre. Prior to individuation, the analysand is carefully assessed to determine if the ego is strong enough to take the intensity of this process. The elements to be integrated include the persona which acts as the representative of the person in her/his role in society, the shadow which contains all that is personally unknown and what the person considers morally reprehensible and, the anima or the animus, which respectively carry their feminine and masculine values. For Jung many unconscious conflicts at the root of neurosis are caused by the difficulty to accept that such a dynamic can unbalance the subject from his habitual position and confronts her/him with aspects of the self they were accustomed to ignore. Once individuation is completed the ego is no longer at the centre of the personality. The process, however, does not lead to a complete self-realisation and that individuation can never be a fixed state due to the unfathomable nature of the depths of the collective unconscious.

Shadow

The shadow is an unconscious complex defined as the repressed, suppressed or disowned qualities of the conscious self. According to Jung, the human being deals with the reality of the shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation. Jung himself asserted that “the result of the Freudian method of elucidation is a minute elaboration of man’s shadow-side unexampled in any previous age.” According to analytical psychology, a person’s shadow may have both constructive and destructive aspects. In its more destructive aspects, the shadow can represent those things people do not accept about themselves. For instance, the shadow of someone who identifies as being kind may be harsh or unkind. Conversely, the shadow of a person who perceives himself to be brutal may be gentle. In its more constructive aspects, a person’s shadow may represent hidden positive qualities. This has been referred to as the “gold in the shadow”. Jung emphasized the importance of being aware of shadow material and incorporating it into conscious awareness in order to avoid projecting shadow qualities on others.

The shadow in dreams is often represented by dark figures of the same gender as the dreamer.

The shadow may also concern great figures in the history of human thought or even spiritual masters, who became great because of their shadows or because of their ability to live their shadows (namely, their unconscious faults) in full without repressing them.

Persona

Just like the anima and animus, the persona (derived from the Greek term for a mask, as would have been worn by actors) is another key concept in analytical psychology. It is the part of the personality which manages an individual’s relations with society in the outside world and works the same way for both sexes.

The persona … is the individual’s system of adaptation to, or the manner assumed in dealing with the world. Every calling or profession, for example, has its own characteristic persona […] Only the danger is that (people) become identical with their personas: thus the professor with his textbook, the tenor with his voice. One could say with little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.

The persona, which is at the heart of the psyche, is contrary to the shadow which is actually the true personality but denied by the self. The conscious self identifies primarily with the persona during development in childhood as the individual develops a psychological framework for dealing with others. Identifications with diplomas, social roles, with honours and awards, with a career, all contribute to the apparent constitution of the persona and which do not lead to knowledge of the self. For Jung, the persona has nothing real about it. It can only be a compromise between the individual and society, yielding an illusion of individuality. Individuation consists, in the first instance, of discarding the individual’s mask, but not too quickly as often, it is all the patient has as a means of identification. The persona is implicated in a number symptoms such as compulsive disorders, phobias, shifting moods, and addictions, among others.

Psychological Types

Analytical psychology distinguishes several psychological types or temperaments.

  • Extravert.
  • Introvert.

According to Jung, the psyche is an apparatus for adaptation and orientation, and consists of a number of different psychic functions. Among these he distinguishes four basic functions:

  • Sensation: Perception by means of the sense organs.
  • Intuition: Perceiving in unconscious way or perception of unconscious contents.
  • Thinking: Function of intellectual cognition; the forming of logical conclusions.
  • Feeling: Function of subjective estimation.

Thinking and feeling functions are rational, while the sensation and intuition functions are irrational.

Note: There is ambiguity in the term ‘rational’ that Carl Jung ascribed to the thinking/feeling functions. Both thinking and feeling irrespective of orientation (i.e. introverted/extroverted) employ/utilise/are directed by in loose terminology an underlying ‘logical’ IF-THEN construct/process (as in IF X THEN Y) in order to form judgements. This underlying construct/process is not directly observable in normal states of consciousness especially when engaged in thoughts/feelings. It can be cognised merely as a concept/abstraction during thoughtful reflection. Sensation and intuition are ‘irrational’ functions simply because they do not employ the above-mentioned underlying logical construct/process.

Complexes

Early in Jung’s career he coined the term and described the concept of the “complex”. Jung claims to have discovered the concept during his free association and galvanic skin response experiments. Freud obviously took up this concept in his Oedipus complex amongst others. Jung seemed to see complexes as quite autonomous parts of psychological life. It is almost as if Jung were describing separate personalities within what is considered a single individual, but to equate Jung’s use of complexes with something along the lines of multiple personality disorder would be a step out of bounds.

Jung saw an archetype as always being the central organising structure of a complex. For instance, in a “negative mother complex,” the archetype of the “negative mother” would be seen to be central to the identity of that complex. This is to say, our psychological lives are patterned on common human experiences. Jung saw the Ego (which Freud wrote about in German literally as the “I”, one’s conscious experience of oneself) as a complex. If the “I” is a complex, what might be the archetype that structures it? Jung, and many Jungians, might say “the hero,” one who separates from the community to ultimately carry the community further.

Synchronicity

Carl Jung first officially used the term synchronicity during a conference held in memory of his sinologist friend, Richard Wilhelm in 1930. It was part of his explanation of the modus operandi of the I Ching. The second reference was made in 1935 in his Tavistock Lectures. For an overview of the origins of the concept, see Joseph Cambray: “Synchronicity as emergence”. It was used to denote the simultaneous occurrence of two events with no causal physical connection, but whose association evokes a meaning for the person experiencing or observing it. The often cited example of the phenomenon is Jung’s own account of a beetle (the common rose-chafer, Cetonia aurata) flying into his consulting room directly following on from his patient telling him a dream featuring a golden scarab. The concept only makes sense psychologically and cannot be reduced to a verified or scientific fact. For Jung it constitutes a working hypothesis which has subsequently given rise to many ambiguities.

I chose this term because the simultaneous occurrence of two meaningfully but not causally connected events seemed to me an essential criterion. I am therefore using the general concept of synchronicity in the special sense of a coincidence in time of two or more causally unrelated events which have the same or a similar meaning, in contrast to synchronism, which simply means the simultaneous occurrence of two events. Synchronicity therefore means the simultaneous occurrence of a certain psychic state with one or more external events which appear as meaningful parallels to the momentary subjective state -and, in certain cases, vice versa.

According to Jung, an archetype which has been constellated in the psyche can, under certain circumstances, transgress the boundary between substance and psyche.

Jung had studied such phenomena with the physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Wolfgang Pauli, who did not always agree with Jung, and with whom he carried on an extensive correspondence, enriched by the contributions of both specialists in their own fields. Pauli had given a series of lectures to the C.G. Jung Institute, Zürich whose member and patron he had been since 1947. It gave rise to a joint essay: Synchronicity, an a-causal principle (1952) The two men saw in the idea of synchronicity a potential way of explaining a particular relationship between “incontrovertible facts”, whose occurrence is tied to unconscious and archetypal manifestations:

The psyche and matter are ordered according to principles which are common, neutral, and incontrovertible.

Borrowing the notion from Arthur Schopenhauer, Jung calls it Unus mundus, a state where neither matter nor the psyche are distinguishable. whereas for Pauli it was a limiting concept, in two senses, in that it is at once scientific and symbolic. According to him, the phenomenon is dependent on the observer. Nevertheless, both men were in accord that there existed the possibility of a conjunction between physics and psychology. Jung wrote in a letter to Pauli:

These researches (Jung’s research into alchemy), have shown me that modern physics can symbolically represent psychological processes down to the minutest detail.

Marie-Louise von Franz also had a lengthy exchange of letters with Wolfgang Pauli. On Pauli’s death in 1958, his widow, Franca, deliberately destroyed all the letters von Franz had sent to her husband, and which he had kept locked inside his writing desk. However, the letters from Pauli to von Franz were all saved and were later made available to researchers and published.

Synchronicity has been is among the most developed ideas by Jung’s followers, notably by Michel Cazenave, James Hillman, Roderick Main, Carl Alfred Meier and by the British developmental clinician, George Bright. It has been explored also in a range of spiritual currents who have sought in it a scientific rigour.

Although Synchronicity as conceived by Jung within the bounds of the science available in his day, has been categorised as pseudoscience, recent developments in complex adaptive systems argue for a revision of such a view. Critics cite that Jung’s experiments that sought to provide statistical proof for this theory did not yield satisfactory result. His experiment was also faulted for not using a true random sampling method as well as for the use of dubious statistics and astrological material.

Post-Jungian Approaches

Andrew Samuels (1985) has distinguished three distinct traditions or approaches of “post-Jungian” psychology – classical, developmental and archetypal. Today there are more developments.

Classical

The classical approach tries to remain faithful to Jung’s proposed model, his teachings and the substance of his 20 volume Collected Works, together with recently published works, such as the Liber Novus, and the Black Books. Prominent advocates of this approach, according to Samuels (1985), include Emma Jung, Jung’s wife, an analyst in her own right, Marie-Louise von Franz, Joseph L. Henderson, Aniela Jaffé, Erich Neumann, Gerhard Adler and Jolande Jacobi. Jung credited Neumann, author of “Origins of Conscious” and “Origins of the Child”, as his principal student to advance his (Jung’s) theory into a mythology-based approach. He is associated with developing the symbolism and archetypal significance of several myths: the Child, Creation, the Hero, the Great Mother and Transcendence.

Archetypal

One archetypal approach, sometimes called “the imaginal school” by James Hillman, was written about by him in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its adherents, according to Samuels (1985), include Gerhard Adler, Irene Claremont de Castillejo, Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig, Murray Stein, Rafael López-Pedraza and Wolfgang Giegerich. Thomas Moore also was influenced by some of Hillman’s work. Developed independently, other psychoanalysts have created strong approaches to archetypal psychology. Mythopoeticists and psychoanalysts such as Clarissa Pinkola Estés who believes that ethnic and aboriginal people are the originators of archetypal psychology and have long carried the maps for the journey of the soul in their songs, tales, dream-telling, art and rituals; Marion Woodman who proposes a feminist viewpoint regarding archetypal psychology. Some of the mythopoetic/archetypal psychology creators either imagine the Self not to be the main archetype of the collective unconscious as Jung thought, but rather assign each archetype equal value.[citation needed] Others, who are modern progenitors of archetypal psychology (such as Estés), think of the Self as the thing that contains and yet is suffused by all other archetypes, each giving life to the other.

Robert L. Moore has explored the archetypal level of the human psyche in a series of five books co-authored with Douglas Gillette, which have played an important role in the men’s movement in the United States. Moore studies computerese so he uses a computer’s hard wiring (its fixed physical components) as a metaphor for the archetypal level of the human psyche. Personal experiences influence the access to the archetypal level of the human psyche, but personalized ego consciousness can be likened to computer software.

Developmental

A major expansion of Jungian theory is credited to Michael Fordham and his wife, Frieda Fordham. It can be considered a bridge between traditional Jungian analysis and Melanie Klein’s object relations theory. Judith Hubback and William Goodheart MD are also included in this group. Andrew Samuels (1985) considers J.W.T. Redfearn, Richard Carvalho and himself as representatives of the developmental approach. Samuels notes how this approach differs from the classical by giving less emphasis to the Self and more emphasis to the development of personality; he also notes how, in terms of practice in therapy, it gives more attention to transference and counter-transference than either the classical or the archetypal approaches.

Sandplay Therapy

Sandplay is a non-directive, creative form of therapy using the imagination, originally used with children and adolescents, later also with adults. Jung had stressed the importance of finding the image behind the emotion. The use of sand in a suitable tray with figurines and other small toys, farm animals, trees, fences and cars enables a narrative to develop through a series of scenarios. This is said to express an ongoing dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious aspects of the psyche, which in turn activates a healing process whereby the patient and therapist can together view the evolving sense of self.

Jungian Sandplay started as a therapeutic method in the 1950s. Although its origin has been credited to a Swiss Jungian analyst, Dora Kalff it was in fact, her mentor and trainer, Dr. Margaret Lowenfeld, a British paediatrician, who had developed the Lowenfeld World Technique inspired by the writer H.G. Wells in her work with children, using a sand tray and figurines in the 1930s. Jung had witnessed a demonstration of the technique while on a visit to the UK in 1937. Kalff saw in it potential as a further application of analytical psychology. Encouraged by Jung, Kalff developed the new application over a number of years and called it Sandplay. From 1962 she began to train Jungian Analysts in the method including in the United States, Europe and Japan. Both Kalff and Jung believed an image can offer greater therapeutic engagement and insight than words alone. Through the sensory experience of working with sand and objects, and their symbolic resonance new areas of awareness can be brought into consciousness, as in dreams, which through their frames and storyline can bring material into consciousness as part of an integrating and healing process. The historian of psychology, Sonu Shamdasani has commented:

Historical reflection suggests the spirit of Jung’s practice of the image, his engagement with his own figures, is indeed more alive in Sandplay than in other Jungian conclaves.

One of Dora Kalff’s trainees was the American concert pianist, Joel Ryce-Menuhin, whose music career was ended by illness and who retrained as a Jungian analyst and exponent of sandplay.

Process-Oriented Psychology

Process-oriented psychology (also called Process work) is associated with the Zurich-trained Jungian analyst Arnold Mindell. Process work developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was originally identified as a “daughter of Jungian psychology”. Process work stresses awareness of the “unconscious” as an ongoing flow of experience. This approach expands Jung’s work beyond verbal individual therapy to include body experience, altered and comatose states as well as multicultural group work.

The Analytic Attitude

Formally Jungian analysis differs little from psychoanalysis. However, variants of each school have developed overlaps and specific divergences through the century, or more, of their existence. They share a “frame” consisting of regular spatio-temporal meetings, one or more times a week, focusing on patient material, using dialogue which may consist of elaboration, amplification and abreaction and which may last on average three years (sometimes more briefly or far longer). The spatial arrangement between analyst and analysand may differ: seated face to face or the patient may use the couch with the analyst seated behind.

In some approaches alternative elements of expression can take place, such as active imagination, sandplay, drawing or painting, even music. The session may at times become semi-directed (in contrast to psychoanalytic treatment which is essentially a non-directive encounter). The patient is at the heart of the therapy, as Marie Louise von Franz has it in her work, “Psychotherapy: the practitioner’s experience”, where she recounts Jung’s thinking on that point. The transference is sought out (contrary to psychoanalytic treatment which distinguishes positive and negative transferences) and, the interpretation of dreams is one of the central pillars of Jungian psychotherapy. In all other respects, the rules correspond to those of classical psychoanalysis: the analyst examines free associations and tries to be objective and ethical, meaning respectful of the patient’s pace and rhythm of unfolding progress. In fact, the task of Jungian analysis is not merely to explore the patient’s past, but to connect conscious awareness with the unconscious such that a better adaptation to their emotional and social life may ensue.

Neurosis is not a symptom of the re-emergence of a repressed past, but is regarded as the functional, sometimes somatic, incapacity to face certain aspects of lived reality. In Jungian analysis the unconscious is the motivator whose task it is to bring into awareness the patient’s shadow, in alliance with the analyst, the more so since unconscious processes enacted in the transference provoke a dependent relationship by the analysand on the analyst, leading to a falling away of the usual defences and references. This requires that the analyst guarantee the safety of the transference. The responsibilities and accountability of individual analysts and their membership organisations, matters of clinical confidentiality and codes of ethics and professional relations with the public sphere are explored in a volume edited by Solomon and Twyman, with contributions from Jungian analysts and psychoanalysts. Solomon has characterised the nature of the patient – analyst relationship as one where the analytic attitude is an ethical attitude since:

The ethical attitude presupposes special responsibilities that we choose to adopt in relation to another. Thus, a parallel situation pertains between caregiver and child and between analyst and patient: they are not equal partners, but nevertheless are in a situation of mutuality, shared subjectivity, and reciprocal influence.

Jungian Social, Literary and Art Criticism

Analytical psychology has inspired a number of contemporary academic researchers to revisit some of Jung’s own preoccupations with the role of women in society, with philosophy and with literary and art criticism. Leading figures to explore these fields include the British-American, Susan Rowland, who produced the first feminist revision of Jung and the fundamental contributions made to his work by the creative women who surrounded him. She has continued to mine his work by evaluating his influence on modern literary criticism and as a writer. Leslie Gardner has devoted a series of volumes to analytical psychology in 21st century life, one of which concentrates on the “Feminine Self”. Paul Bishop, a British German scholar, has placed analytical psychology in the context of precursors such as, Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche.

The Franco-Swiss art historian and analytical psychologist, Christian Gaillard, has examined Jung’s place as an artist and art critic in his series of Fay lectures at the Texas A&M University. These scholars draw from Jung’s works that apply analytical psychology to literature such as the lecture “On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry”. In this presentation, which was delivered in 1922, Jung stated that the psychologist cannot replace the art critic. He rejected the Freudian art criticism for reducing complex works of art to Oedipal fantasies of their creators, stressing the danger of simplifying literature to causes found outside of the actual work.

Criticism

Since its inception, analytical psychology has been the object of criticism, emanating from the psychoanalytic sphere. Freud himself characterised Jung as a “mystic and a snob”. In his introduction to the 2011 edition of Jung’s “Lectures on the Theory of Psychoanalysis”, given in New York in 1912, Sonu Shamdasani contends that Freud orchestrated a round of critical reviews of Jung’s writings from Karl Abraham, Jung’s former colleague at the Burghölzli hospital, and from the early Welsh Freudian, Ernest Jones. Such criticisms multiplied during the 20th century, focusing primarily on the “mysticism” in Jung’s writings. Other psychoanalysts, including Jungian analysts, objected to the cult of personality around the Swiss psychiatrist. It reached a crescendo with Jung’s perceived collusion with Nazism in the build up and during World War II and is still a recurrent theme. Thomas Kirsch writes: “Successive generations of Jungian analysts and analysands have wrestled with the question of Jung’s complex relations to Germany.” Other considered evaluations come from Andrew Samuels and from Robert Withers.

The French philosopher, Yvon Brès, considers that the concept of the collective unconscious, “shows also how easily one can slip from the psychological unconscious into perspectives from a universe of thought, quite alien from traditional philosophy and science, where this idea arose.” (“Le concept jungien d’inconscient collectif “témoigne également de la facilité avec laquelle on peut glisser du concept d’inconscient psychologique vers des perspectives relevant d’un univers de pensée étranger à la tradition philosophique et scientifique dans laquelle ce concept est né'”).

In his Le Livre Rouge de la psychanalyse (“Red Book of psychoanalysis”), the French psychoanalyst, Alain Amselek, criticises Jung’s tendency to be fascinated by the image and to reduce the human to an archetype. He contends that Jung dwells in a world of ideas and abstractions, in a world of books and old secrets lost in ancient books of spells (fr: grimoires). While claiming to be an empiricist, Amselek finds Jung to be an idealist, a pure thinker who has unquestionably demonstrated his intellectual talent for speculation and the invention of ideas. While he considers his epistemology to be in advance of that of Freud, Jung remains stuck in his intellectualism and in his narrow provincial outlook.[clarification needed] In fact, his hypotheses are determined by the concept of his postulated pre-existing world and he has constantly sought to find confirmations of it in the old traditions of Western Medieval Europe.

More problematic has been, at times, the ad hominem criticism of academics outside the field of analytical psychology. One, a Catholic historian of psychiatry, Richard Noll, wrote three volumes but was able to publish only the first two in 1994 and 1997. Nolls argued that analytical psychology is based on a neo-pagan Hellenistic cult. These attacks on Jung and his work prompted the French psychoanalyst, Élisabeth Roudinesco, to state in a review: “Even if Noll’s theses are based on a solid familiarity with the Jungian corpus […], they deserve to be re-examined, such is the detestation of the author for the object of his study that it diminishes the credibility of the arguments.” (“Même si les thèses de Noll sont étayées par une solide connaissance du corpus jungien […], elles méritent être réexaminées, tant la détestation de l’auteur vis-à-vis de son objet d’étude diminue la crédibilité de l’argumentation.”). Another, a French ethnographer and anthropologist, Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, criticised Jung over his alleged misuse of the term archetype and his “suspect motives” in dealings with some of his colleagues.

What is the American Board of Professional Psychology?

Introduction

The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) is the primary organisation for specialty board certification in psychology.

Mission Statement

“The mission of the American Board of Professional Psychology is to increase consumer protection through the examination and certification of psychologists who demonstrate competence in approved specialty areas in professional psychology.”

Brief History

1947-1999

The American Board of Professional Psychology was founded and incorporated in 1947, as the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology (ABEPP). When established, ABEPP replaced a committee that was formed by the American Psychological Association (APA) to explore the development of a credentialing body for individual psychologists. According to Bent, Goldberg & Packard, APA had come to realise that a membership organisation, such as itself, could not advocate for its members at the same time that it performed certification functions designed to protect the public. Determining that a distinction should be made between basic and advanced levels of competence, ABEPP focused its attention to the latter and identified three fields of certification:

  • Clinical Psychology;
  • Personnel-Industrial (later becoming Industrial Psychology, and then Industrial/Organizational Psychology); and
  • Personnel-Educational (later becoming Counselling and Guidance, and then Counselling Psychology).

In order to recognize those psychologists already working in applied and practice areas, persons deemed to have sufficient experience and training (and awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees prior to 31 December 1935) were allowed to be “grandfathered” without examination. Those requiring examination were administered both written and oral components.

In 1968, the current name – American Board of Professional Psychology – was adopted, and a fourth specialty – School Psychology – was introduced. In 1972 multimember regional boards were implemented – Northeast, Midwest, Mideast, Southeast, Intermountain West and Far West. In 1974, the ABPP Board of Trustees (BOT) authorized the establishment of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, new specialty boards were recognised – Clinical Neuropsychology (1984), Forensic Psychology (1985), Family Psychology (1991) and Health Psychology (1991). As new specialties were introduced, each seated a trustee on the BOT. As the 1990s progressed, additional specialties were identified – Behavioural Psychology (1991), Psychoanalysis in Psychology (1996), and Rehabilitation Psychology (1997). Specialty Academies were also introduced as definitive membership organisations for specialists certified by ABPP.

2000-Present

During the early 2000s, ABPP implemented several initiatives to further its mission. The Early Entry Option was created for graduate students, interns, and residents to start the board certification process early in their careers. In 2008, ABPP began to convene an annual conference with workshops. As a means of raising funds to support education on board certification, the American Board of Professional Psychology Foundation was formed in 2010. In 2015 ABPP seated its first Early Career Psychology (ECP) trustee. Maintenance of Certification was implemented in 2015, requiring that psychologists board-certified on or after 01 January 2015 undergo a formal review, ensuring their commitment to lifelong learning. Psychologists who received their board certification prior to 2015 received the option to opt-in to maintenance of certification or to waive the requirement.

Certification Requirements

There are various requirements to obtain the ABPP certification, which are referred to as diplomas in the specialized area. The minimum requirements include:

  • A doctoral degree.
  • Licensure within the psychology field.
  • At least five years of experience.

In addition to the minimum requirements, there are also additional specialisations demonstrated by the candidate. The candidate must also demonstrate the following:

  • Specialised Training.
  • Evidence of substantial experience.
  • Continuing education in one of the thirteen specialty areas.

A review of the candidate’s work as well as an oral examination are also required to obtain ABPP certification. Some specialties require an additional written exam in addition to the oral component.

Recognised Specialties

In 2018, ABPP recognises the following psychology specialties (year of affiliation with ABPP in parentheses):

  • Behavioural & Cognitive (1992).
  • Clinical Child & Adolescent (2003).
  • Clinical Health (1991).
  • Clinical Neuropsychology (1984).
  • Clinical (1947).
  • Counselling (1947).
  • Couple & Family (1990).
  • Forensic (1985).
  • Geropsychology (2014).
  • Group (1997).
  • Organisational & Business Consulting (1948).
  • Police and Public Safety (2011).
  • Psychoanalysis (1996).
  • Rehabilitation (1997).
  • School (1968).
  • One subspecialty is also recognised under the umbrella of Clinical Neuropsychology – Paediatric Neuropsychology.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees consists of:

  • A representative from each of the specialty boards.
  • Members of the Executive Committee (President, President-Elect, Past-President, Treasurer and Secretary).
  • The Executive Officer.
  • A Public Member.
  • An Early Career Psychologist trustee.
  • A trustee from the Council of Presidents of Psychology Specialty Academies (CPPSA).
  • The Editor of the ABPP newsletter, The Specialist, serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

What is the Canadian Psychological Association?

Introduction

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the primary organisation representing psychologists throughout Canada. It was organised in 1939 and incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II, in May 1950.

Its objectives are to improve the health and welfare of all Canadians; to promote excellence and innovation in psychological research, education, and practice; to promote the advancement, development, dissemination, and application of psychological knowledge; and to provide high-quality services to members.

Brief History

The CPA was founded in a University of Ottawa psychology lab in 1938, although it was not formally organised until 1939. Initially, the CPA’s purpose was to help with Canada’s contribution to World War II; indeed, the CPA was heavily involved with test construction for the Department of National Defence.

Organisational Structure

CPA’s head office is located in Ottawa, ON. The CPA has a directorate for each of its three pillars:

  1. The Science Directorate’s mandate is to lobby government for increased funding for psychological research, promote and support the work of Canadian researchers in psychology, and educate the public about important findings from psychological science.
  2. The Practice Directorate’s mandate is to support and facilitate advocacy for the practice of psychology across Canada.
  3. The Education Directorate’s mandate is to oversee the accreditation of doctoral and internship programmes in professional psychology.

The Board of Directors sets policies that guide the CPA. It is made up of Presidential Officers, Directors, and Executive Officers.

Policy and Position Statements

The CPA publishes the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists which articulates ethical principles, values, and standards to guide all members of the Canadian Psychological Association. This Code is reviewed regularly with the most recent version published in January 2017. The ethical standards are built on four principles which form cornerstone guidelines for making ethical decision. Those principles are: Respect for the Dignity of Persons and Peoples; Responsible Caring; Integrity in Relationships; and Responsibility to Society.

The CPA publishes policy and positions statements which are based on psychological evidence and ethical standards on given issues of importance. Below are some issues in which the CPA has issued public statements on:

Policy Statements

  • Conversion/Reparative Therapy for Sexual Orientation.
  • Gender Identity in Adolescents and Adults.
  • Violence against Women.
  • Bullying in Children and Youth.
  • The Presence of Involved Third Party Observer in Neuropsychological Assessments.
  • Public Statements.
  • Physical Punishment of Children and Youth.
  • Ethical Use and Reporting of Psychological Assessment Results for Student Placement.
  • Convictions based Solely on Recovered Memories.
  • Public Statement by Paul Cameron on Homosexuality.
  • Equality for Lesbians, Gay Men, their Relationships and their Families.
  • Inclusion of Unpaid Household Activities in 1996 Census.
  • CPA Response to Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women.
  • Child Care.
  • The Death Penalty in Canada.
  • Prejudicial Discrimination.
  • Minority Groups.
  • Discrimination in the Employment Areas.
  • Psychology of Women.
  • Female Role Models.
  • Education of Graduate Students.
  • Autonomous Profession.
  • Psychology in Hospitals.
  • Prepaid Health Schemes.
  • Psychologists Providers of Health Care.

Position Statements

  • Addressing Climate Change in Canada: The Importance of Psychological Science.
  • Inappropriate Psychological Test Use: A Public Safety Concern.
  • Recommendations for Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Canada.
  • Health and Well-Being Needs of LGBTQI People.
  • Recommendations for the Legalization of Cannabis in Canada.
  • Psychologists Practicing to Scope: The Role of Psychologists in Canada’s Public Institutions.
  • Neuropsychological Services in Canada.
  • Issues and Recommendations about Advertising and Children’s Health Behaviour.
  • Same Sex Marriage.

The CPA board of directors convenes working groups to explore various issues affecting the science, practice and education of psychology. Some of those working group reports are as follows:

  • E-Psychology Working Group.
  • CPA Task Force on Title: Model Language Suggestions.
  • Recommendations for Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Canada.
  • Psychology’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Report.
  • Medical Assistance in Dying and End-of-Life Care.
  • Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility Assessments in Canada.
  • Supply and Demand for Accredited Doctoral Internship/Residency Positions in Clinical, Counselling, and School Psychology in Canada.
  • Evidence-Based Practice of Psychological Treatments: A Canadian Perspective.
  • CPA Task Force on the Supply of Psychologists in Canada.
  • CPA Task Force of Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists in Canada.

Sections

Members of the CPA with interests in specific areas of psychology are able to form and join sections. Sections have official status under the By-laws of the CPA, which give them power to:

  • Initiate and undertake activities of relevance to its members.
  • Draft position papers on topics of relevance to the Section.
  • Initiate policy statements in areas of expertise.
  • Organize meetings within CPA.
  • Make specific representation to external agencies or organisations, if it has received the approval of the Board of Directors to do so.
  • Recommend that CPA make specific representations to external organisations or agencies.

List of CPA Sections

  • Addiction Psychology.
  • Adult Development and Ageing.
  • Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
  • Clinical Psychology.
  • Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • Community Psychology.
  • Counselling Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice Psychology.
  • Developmental Psychology.
  • Educational and School Psychology.
  • Environmental Psychology.
  • Extremism and Terrorism.
  • Family Psychology.
  • Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine.
  • History and Philosophy Section.
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology.
  • Industrial/Organisational Psychology.
  • International and Cross-Cultural Psychology.
  • Psychologists in Hospitals and Health Centres.
  • Psychology in the Military.
  • Psychologists and Retirement.
  • Psychopharmacology.
  • Quantitative Methods.
  • Quantitative Electrophysiology.
  • Rural and Northern Psychology.
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Social and Personality Section.
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology.
  • Students.
  • Teaching of Psychology.
  • Traumatic Stress Section.
  • Section for Women And Psychology (SWAP).

Membership and Affiliation

The CPA offers 5 types of membership to individuals residing in Canada or the United States.

  • Full member: One has to have a Masters or Doctoral degree in psychology (or its academic equivalent) to become a full member.
  • Early Career Year 1: One has to have graduated with a Masters, or PhD in Psychology (or a related field), and are not returning to school, or those working on the first year of their Post Doc. Applicants must have graduated University the previous year (e.g. 2020) to be eligible for Early Career Year 1 in the year they are applying for membership (e.g. 2021).
  • Early Career Year 2: Available to members who were Early Career Year 1 in the previous membership year (e.g. 2020) OR recent graduates who have graduated with a Masters, or PhD in Psychology (or a related field) in the previous 2 years and are not returning to school or those working on the second year of their Post Docs.
  • Retired member: One has to be a full member or fellow who has retired.
  • Honorary life fellow/Honorary life member: Offered to individuals who are 70 years old and have been full members of the CPA for at least 25 years.

The CPA offers 2 types of affiliation to individuals residing in Canada or the United States.

  • Student affiliate: One has to be an undergraduate or graduate student at a recognised university.
  • Special affiliate: Open to those who have an active interest in psychology.

The CPA offers two types of affiliation to individuals residing outside of Canada or the United States.

  • International affiliate: Open to international psychologists.
  • International student affiliate: Open to international undergraduate and graduate students in psychology.

The CPA now offers a section associate category for individuals who do not qualify for membership or are interested in joining only one section and receiving their section communication.

The CPA has approximately 7,000 members and affiliates.

Public Outreach and Partnerships

The CPA produces a series of informative brochures for the public called “Psychology Works Fact Sheets”. Each brochure is reviewed by psychologists who are knowledgeable on that subject before being published online. Topics range from information on psychological disorders, parenting challenges, pain, stress, perfectionism, and much more. Along with these informative brochures, the CPA website contains many resources for individuals interested in psychology or receiving psychological services in Canada.

Every year, the CPA promotes February as Psychology Month and encourages Canadian psychologists to reach out to the public to raise awareness of what psychology is, what psychologists do, and how psychology benefits everyone.

The CPA is engaged in numerous emergency preparedness activities. Following national and international emergencies and disasters, the CPA provides the general public with timely resources on effective coping and information about stress and the indicators of psychological distress. The CPA is also involved in the National Emergency Psychosocial Advisory Consortium (NEPAC), the Mental Health Support Network, and the Council of Emergency Voluntary Sector Directors.

The CPA is also involved in partnerships with the following:

  • Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).
  • Canadian Association for School Health Communities of Practice.
  • Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21).
  • Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR).
  • Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS).
  • Canadian Primary Health Care Research and Innovation Network (CPHCRIN).
  • Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC).
  • G7.
  • Mental Health Table.
  • Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet).
  • Science Media Centre of Canada.
  • The Health Action Lobby (HEAL).

Publications

The CPA, in partnership with the American Psychological Association, quarterly publishes the following three academic journals:

  • Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science.
  • Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology.
  • Canadian Psychology.

The CPA also publishes a quarterly magazine called Psynopsis. Issues contain brief articles on specific themes relating to psychology, as well as updates from the head office of CPA, committee news, information about the annual convention, and much more.

Mind Pad is a professional newsletter that is written and reviewed by student affiliates of the Canadian Psychological Association. The newsletter is published biannually online.

Convention

CPA hosts a convention annually. The conventions usually include pre-convention workshops, keynote and invited speakers, poster presentations, symposiums, award presentations, and various social events. The location varies each year from city to city across Canada.

Awards

Each year at the annual convention, CPA honours individuals who have made distinguished contributions to psychology in Canada with the following awards:

  • CPA Gold Medal Award For Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Canadian Psychology.
  • CPA John C. Service Member the Year Award.
  • CPA Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public or Community Service.
  • Distinguished Practitioner Award.
  • CPA Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service to the Canadian Psychological Association.
  • CPA Humanitarian Award.
  • President’s New Researcher Award.

The CPA has numerous student awards. As an example, the CPA gives out Certificates of Academic Excellence to students in each Canadian psychology department for the best undergraduate, masters, and doctoral thesis. The sections of CPA also award students for exceptional papers, presentations, and posters at the annual convention.

Fellowships are awarded to members of the CPA who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of the science or profession of psychology or who have given exceptional service to their national or provincial associations. The Committee on Fellows and Awards review nominations and make recommendations to the Board of Directors who appoint fellows.

What is Relational Disorder?

Introduction

According to Michael First of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version 5 (DSM-5) working committee the focus of a relational disorder, in contrast to other DSM-IV disorders, “is on the relationship rather than on any one individual in the relationship”.

Relational disorders involve two or more individuals and a disordered “juncture”, whereas typical Axis I psychopathology describes a disorder at the individual level. An additional criterion for a relational disorder is that the disorder cannot be due solely to a problem in one member of the relationship, but requires pathological interaction from each of the individuals involved in the relationship.

For example, if a parent is withdrawn from one child but not another, the dysfunction could be attributed to a relational disorder. In contrast, if a parent is withdrawn from both children, the dysfunction may be more appropriately attributable to a disorder at the individual level.

First states that “relational disorders share many elements in common with other disorders: there are distinctive features for classification; they can cause clinically significant impairment; there are recognizable clinical courses and patterns of comorbidity; they respond to specific treatments; and they can be prevented with early interventions. Specific tasks in a proposed research agenda: develop assessment modules; determine the clinical utility of relational disorders; determine the role of relational disorders in the aetiology and maintenance of individual disorders; and consider aspects of relational disorders that might be modulated by individual disorders.”

The proposed new diagnosis defines a relational disorder as “persistent and painful patterns of feelings, behaviors, and perceptions” among two or more people in an important personal relationship, such a husband and wife, or a parent and children.

According to psychiatrist Darrel Regier, MD, some psychiatrists and other therapists involved in couples and marital counselling have recommended that the new diagnosis be considered for possible incorporation into the DSM IV.

Brief History

The idea of a psychology of relational disorders is far from new. According to Adam Blatner, MD, some of the early psychoanalysts alluded to it more or less directly, and the history of marital couple therapy began with a few pioneers in 1930s. J.L. Moreno, the inventor of psychodrama and a major pioneer of group psychotherapy and social psychology, noted the idea that relationships could be “sick” even if the people involved were otherwise “healthy,” and even vice versa: Otherwise “sick” people could find themselves in a mutually supportive and “healthy” relationship.

Moreno’s ideas may have influenced some of the pioneers of family therapy, but also there were developments in general science, namely, cybernetic theory, developed in the mid-1940s, and noting the nature of circularity and feedback in complex systems. By the 1950s, the idea that relationships themselves could be problematic became quite apparent. So, diagnostically, in the sense not of naming a disease or disorder, but just helping people think through what was really going on, the idea of relational disorder was nothing new.

Types

The majority of research on relational disorders concerns three relationship systems:

  • Adult children and their parents;
  • Minor children and their parents; and
  • The marital relationship.

There is also an increasing body of research on problems in dyadic gay relationships and on problematic sibling relationships.

Marital

Marital disorders are divided into “Marital Conflict Disorder Without Violence” and “Marital Abuse Disorder (Marital Conflict Disorder With Violence).” Couples with marital disorders sometimes come to clinical attention because the couple recognise long-standing dissatisfaction with their marriage and come to the clinician on their own initiative or are referred by a health care professional. Secondly, there is serious violence in the marriage which is “usually the husband battering the wife”. In these cases the emergency room or a legal authority often is the first to notify the clinician.

Most importantly, marital violence “is a major risk factor for serious injury and even death and women in violent marriages are at much greater risk of being seriously injured or killed” (National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women 2000). The authors of this study add that “There is current considerable controversy over whether male-to-female marital violence is best regarded as a reflection of male psychopathology and control or whether there is an empirical base and clinical utility for conceptualizing these patterns as relational.”

Recommendations for clinicians making a diagnosis of “Marital Relational Disorder” should include the assessment of actual or “potential” male violence as regularly as they assess the potential for suicide in depressed patients. Further, “clinicians should not relax their vigilance after a battered wife leaves her husband, because some data suggest that the period immediately following a marital separation is the period of greatest risk for the women.

Many men will stalk and batter their wives in an effort to get them to return or punish them for leaving. Initial assessments of the potential for violence in a marriage can be supplemented by standardised interviews and questionnaires, which have been reliable and valid aids in exploring marital violence more systematically.

The authors conclude with what they call “very recent information” on the course of violent marriages which suggests that “over time a husband’s battering may abate somewhat, but perhaps because he has successfully intimidated his wife.”

The risk of violence remains strong in a marriage in which it has been a feature in the past. Thus, treatment is essential here; the clinician cannot just wait and watch. The most urgent clinical priority is the protection of the wife because she is the one most frequently at risk, and clinicians must be aware that supporting assertiveness by a battered wife may lead to more beatings or even death.

In some cases, men are abuse victims of their wives; there is not exclusively male-on-female physical violence, although this is more common than female-on-male violence.

Parent-Child Abuse

Research on parent-child abuse bears similarities to that on marital violence, with the defining characteristic of the disorder being physical aggression by a parent toward a child. The disorder is frequently concealed by parent and child, but may come to the attention of the clinician in several ways, from emergency room medical staff to reports from child protection services.

Some features of abusive parent–child relationships that serve as a starting point for classification include:

  • The parent is physically aggressive with a child, often producing physical injury;
  • Parent-child interaction is coercive, and parents are quick to react to provocations with aggressive responses, and children often reciprocate aggression;
  • Parents do not respond effectively to positive or prosocial behaviour in the child;
  • Parents do not engage in discussion about emotions;
  • Parent engages in deficient play behaviour, ignores the child, rarely initiates play, and does little teaching;
  • Children are insecurely attached and, where mothers have a history of physical abuse, show distinctive patterns of disorganised attachment; and
  • Parents relationship shows coercive marital interaction patterns.

Defining the relational aspects of these disorders can have important consequences. For example, in the case of early appearing feeding disorders, attention to relational problems may help delineate different types of clinical problems within an otherwise broad category. In the case of conduct disorder, the relational problems may be so central to the maintenance, if not the aetiology, of the disorder that effective treatment may be impossible without recognising and delineating it.